Indonesia: Prabowo as a Raising Star and Jokowi's Difficulties for a Second Term in 2019

VOICES.NEWS - Campaigning for Indonesia's April 2019 presidential election began on Sunday (September 23, 2018), with the incumbent, ...

VOICES.NEWS - Campaigning for Indonesia's April 2019 presidential election began on Sunday (September 23, 2018), with the incumbent, Joko Widodo in difficult  position for a second term amid people's disappointment at the deteriorating economy. The contest is a rerun of the 2014 presidential election and most observers think the odds are in the challenger's favor following  the decline in the value of the rupiah, the deteriorating economy and the weakening of the purchasing power of the people and  the rampant corruption scandal.

These days  are on social media information circulates, both in the form of pictures or videos, about repressive actions by police officers in dispelling student demonstrations in a number of areas demanding the role of the government in stabilizing the rupiah exchange rate against the US dollar.
Dozens of students were injured, some even bled. In fact, there were a number of students who were transported to the police station. This repressive action was criticized by many parties.
Capres urut 1 Joko Widodo dan nomor urut 2 Prabowo Subianto berjalan bersama pada Deklarasi Kampanye Damai dan Berintegritas di Kawasan Monas, Jakarta, Minggu (23/9/2018). Deklarasi tersebut bertujuan untuk memerangi hoaks, ujaran kebencian dan politisasi SARA agar terciptanya suasana damai selama penyelenggaraan Pilpres 2019.

Preparing for the campaign, the two candidates smiled and shook hands at the election commission in central Jakarta on Friday. "Let's show the maturity of our democracy for the people," said Widodo. "I hope that all the people conduct the election in a peaceful manner," said Prabowo Subianto.

But perhaps the biggest difference five years on, as pointed out by the Australiaj National University's Tom Power, is the authoritarian turn Jokowi has taken during his presidency. This includes an upsurge in the use of law enforcement and elite coercion to silence opponents, shut down protests and force political allegiance to the government, while at the same time being receptive to a more conservative religious agenda.
Image result for prabowo and jokowi

While all of these issues are important, the key swing factor will be how the government manages the current period of financial volatility and whether the global market conditions allow Jakarta to avoid a deepening crisis.
On Jokowi's track record, his signature infrastructure project, the China-backed Jakarta-to-Bandung high-speed rail line is behind schedule and likely to be a target for debate over the merits of foreign investment.

"There's certainly a sense in international financial markets that Indonesia is at the precipice of a crisis or at the very least that there will need to be a readjustment at some point," said Connelly.

"And there's concern in the palace that that readjustment will be forced upon them before the election."

On many measures, Indonesia is far healthier than it was in the late 1990s. Inflation is under control, its foreign reserves are at a relatively healthy level, particularly when compared to Argentina or Turkey, and its banking system is primarily domestically funded. However, on the negative side the country has a history of runaway inflation, there has been a significant increase in public debt under Jokowi and fuel subsidies place a substantial burden on the central budget.

No doubt, both sides of the race will be on crisis watch for the next seven months.


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