KPU staff carry out drills in Banyuwangi in preparation for the general elections. Photo by Budi Candra Setya for Antara.

Twenty-five years since embarking on the reform era following the fall of the New Order, observers, scholars and global democracy indexes agree that Indonesia’s democracy is in a state of regression and is at risk of failure.

Recent challenges levelled at key institutions including the Constitutional Court, the Corruption Eradication Commission, and threats to freedom of speech brought by the Information and Electronics Law (ITE Law) are evidence of significant degradation of the quality and integrity of democracy. Further, over the past two decades, influence and control across the four branches of power – politics, media, civil society and business – is increasingly centred in the hands of just a few.

With the elections set to deliver a new government and new president next year, what must be done to halt further damage to Indonesia’s democracy and rule of law? What are the risks if it fails to do so?

In this week’s episode Jemma Purdey chats with Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Indonesia and a member of Indonesia’s senate, the Regional Representatives Assembly. Professor Jimly was founding Chief Justice of Indonesia’s first Constitutional Court, an adviser to presidents and ministers, was head of the Presidential Advisory Council, and former head of the Advisory Council of Indonesia’s National Commission of Human Rights. He is one of Indonesia’s leading jurists and distinguished legal thinkers, with more than 70 books to his name.

In 2023, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales, Tito Ambyo from RMIT and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

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