In Talking Indonesia this week, Charlotte Setijadi chats to analysts Ben Bland and Liam Gammon about the legislative elections, as well as two first time candidates, Rian Ernest, from PSI, and Faldo Maldini, from PAN.
The free trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia was finally signed on 4 March. Matthew Busch writes that if successful, it could help stabilise economic, trade and investment cooperation in the face of future turmoil in the bilateral relationship.
Over recent weeks, supporters of both President Joko Widodo and his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, have attempted to frame the contest as an ideological battle between communism and a caliphate. This is far too simplistic, writes Dr Nadirsyah Hosen.
Professor Vedi Hadiz offers his take on the Indonesian elections, writing that the long election season has rarely been about contests between outright reformers and outright reactionaries, or between outright secularists and outright Islamists.
The first three leadership debates have been derided as ‘uninteresting, stiff and scripted’. But Yoes C Kenawas writes that despite their weaknesses, the debates are important rituals for maintaining Indonesian democracy.
Activists were hoping that smoking and cigarettes would be discussed during the vice presidential debate earlier this month. Dr Elisabeth Kramer writes that while the vice presidential candidates were silent on the issue, both presidential candidate teams have indicated they do have plans for tobacco control.
Will Connolly, the 17-year-old who egged racist Australian Senator Fraser Anning, has been celebrated in Indonesia for defending Islam. But former Australian resident Iqbal Aji Daryono writes that this interpretation is too simplistic.
For several days after the 2014 election, both Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto claimed victory on the basis of differing quick count results. Could Indonesia see a similar debacle in 2019? Dr Dirk Tomsa has been monitoring developments in the polling sector.