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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.

16 March 2018

Politics: President Joko Widodo assigned State Secretary Pratikno to head a search team for a vice‑presidential running mate.  The former Gadjah Mada University (UGM) rector is a non-partisan confidante of the president, which suggests that Widodo may be leaning away from choosing a political‑party representative.  However, obviously suitable alternatives are few, if any.  Widodo and Pratikno may ultimately prioritize a choice who is clean, to avoid any taint of scandal affecting the ticket and, by association, Widodo’s image (Page 2).  Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) members ignored a “suggestion” from the coordinating security minister to desist from naming suspects from among the ranks of regional‑head candidates, until after the June election.  The KPK appears to be assertively scrutinizing candidates and launching cases against those it suspects as corrupt.  This is triggering complaints, especially among parties and the police – but, given the persistence of widespread corruption among regional heads, the KPK has strong justification for employing a new tactic for elevating regional governance (p. 6).

Regional Head Elections: A reliable new survey shows that West Java’s gubernatorial race is, in effect, a two-way contest led by Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil.  He has support from 44 percent, versus 31 percent for incumbent Vice Governor Deddy Mizwar.  Poll findings also suggest that Kamil has a host of advantages over Mizwar, which suggests that the lead will prove durable.  If so, Indonesia’s largest province will be under the leadership of a reform‑minded figure.  Kamil’s national profile could make him a factor in the 2024 presidential election (p. 9).

Justice: KPK investigators apprehended a Tangerang District Court judge (p. 11).

Policy News: The labor minister outlined plans for policy changes to improve procedures for obtaining foreign work permits (p. 11).  Coordinating Economics Minister Darmin Nasution set three priority work areas for elevating Indonesia’s rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) – port dwelling time, property permits and procedures for starting businesses.  But significant further gains in the EODB will require legal‑system reform (p. 12).

Jakarta: The urgent problem of groundwater depletion and land subsidence is receiving attention, and sound plans exist for constructing Potable Water Supply Systems (Spam) outside the city.  However, an October 2017 Supreme Court verdict rendered Jakarta’s two main water concessionaires illegal (p. 13).

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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