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Reformasi: The Struggle for Power in Post-Soeharto Indonesia is a non-fiction narrative that charts the course of Indonesian politics between 1996 and 2001.

20 May 2016

Politics: Golkar’s momentous Extraordinary Congress has reinforced the grip of the party’s incumbents. Party Treasurer Setya Novanto – disgraced last year and ousted as parliament speaker in the Freeport Tape Scandal – won the party chair election with ease. He is a longstanding loyalist of the former chair, Aburizal Bakrie, who takes over the Advisory Board – renamed as the ‘Guidance Board’. Other Bakrie loyalists occupy key posts: Idrus Marham stays on as secretary general and, significantly, Nurdin Halid assumes a newly created position of ‘daily operational chair’ (there are no vice chairs in the new structure). In practice, these changes consolidate Bakrie’s control and strengthen his position (Page 2). Golkar’s new leadership emphasized promises to support the administration and perhaps even nominate Joko Widodo for re election as president in 2019; however, such pledges can be superficial and misleading (p. 5). The National Mandate Party (Pan) removed two loyalists of the former chair, Hatta Radjasa, from strategic parliamentary posts (p. 6).

Surveys: The Survey Network (Lingkaran Survei Indonesia) of Denny Januar Ali produced poll findings showing a strengthened support for PDI Perjuangan, but otherwise the party preferences of voters remain little changed from 2014 (p. 7).

Justice: Officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) affirmed that various cases embroiling the new Golkar chair, Setya Novanto, remain active (p. 8).

Appointments: In an ominous sign for the power sector, the Yudhoyono era reformer Kuntoro Mangkusubroto resigned as president commissioner of the State Power Company (PLN) (p. 9). Imminent vacancies in three star police posts create added possibilities for the nomination in July of a new police chief. A reformist nominee would boost prospects for legal certainty – but the outcome is uncertain (p. 10).

Economics: The president set forth cuts to the 2016 budget (p. 12).

Institutional Reform: The new head of the Ombudsman spoke to Tempo about his agency’s aims and methods (p. 13).

Outlook: Bakrie’s reinforced position in politics need not deter the president from embarking on a more ambitious agenda of reform (p. 17).

Reformasi Weekly Review provides timely, relevant and independent analysis on Indonesian political and policy news. Delivered electronically every Friday, Reformasi Weekly is written by Kevin O’Rourke, author of the book Reformasi. For subscription information please contact. Reformasi Weekly is a product of PT Reformasi Info Sastra.
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