With the election just weeks away the campaign for the presidency is in full flight. The three candidates – Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan – are proven campaigners and already familiar faces, but as has been the case in Indonesian politics for a while now, it is the coalitions they form around their tickets that will prove decisive on election day and in the government they ultimately lead. Indeed, Prabowo’s choice of Joko Widodo’s son and current mayor of Solo, Gibran Rakabuming Raka as his running mate is shaping up to be a strategic victory for both the Prabowo and Jokowi camps.
So, what is the state of the current campaign? What is likely to happen on and after 14 February? In the end, does it matter who wins if a coalition of opponents and other parties and interest groups will govern together anyway? What does such a state of coalitional presidentialism mean for the future of democracy in Indonesia?
In this week’s episode Jemma Purdey chats with Marcus Mietzner, Associate Professor at the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. He is author of the recently published The Coalitions Presidents Make: Presidential Power and Its Limits in Democratic Indonesia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y., 2023.
In 2023, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Tito Ambyo from RMIT, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University.