Talking Indonesia: the 2019 legislative elections

With only days left before Indonesia’s simultaneous presidential and legislative elections on the 17 April, candidates are going all out in a final push to get votes. With more than 200,000 candidates running for various national and local offices across the archipelago, it is no wonder that many voters feel confused about who to vote for.


With the media and public focused on the arguably more exciting presidential election, the legislative elections have largely faded into the background. But there are many important issues related to the legislative elections that need to be addressed. For one, what does the sociopolitical landscape look like this time around? What issues matter to voters at the local level? And what can we expect in terms of the participation and voting behaviour of the so-called “millennial voters”?


In Talking Indonesia this week, I speak to Ben Bland and Liam Gammon about the legislative elections. Ben Bland is director of the Lowy Institute’s Southeast Asia program and was Indonesia correspondent for the Financial Times during the 2014 elections. Liam Gammon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political and Social Change at Australian National University’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and the editor of New Mandala.


I also catch up with first-time candidates Rian Ernest, from the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), and Faldo Maldini, from the National Mandate Party (PAN), both running for seats in the national legislature (DPR).


In 2019, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Deakin University, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


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


Photo by Adiwinata Solihin for Antara.


Charlotte Setijadi is Assistant Professor of Humanities in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University.