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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.

28 April 2017

Politics: President Joko Widodo brushed aside questions about whether outgoing Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) could obtain a cabinet post.  In fact, the president and Purnama contrast sharply with regard to their pace of pursuing reform.  PDI‑P figures suggest nominating Purnama for governor of another province, but this prospect seems remote (Page 2).  Within Golkar, agitation against Party Chair Setya Novanto escalated, as a member of the Leadership Board (DPP), Yorrys Raweyai, openly called for a congress and a new leadership.  Raweyai may be calculating that Novanto lacks sufficient strength to oust him for his ‘indiscipline’.  If so, others may soon rally around Raweyai (p. 2).  In a case that involves the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq, the Soeharto‑family associate Firza Husein (a treason suspect) and their alleged violations of the 2008 Anti‑Pornography Law, police proclaimed that an investigation is making progress (p. 5).

Justice: Basaria Panjaitan, a member of the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) and a former police general, named a former head of the Bank Restructuring Agency (Ibra) as a suspect – in a 13‑year‑old case involving the tycoon Syamsul Nursalim.  Panjaitan reportedly faults the ex‑Ibra head, Sjafruddin Temenggung, for not having recovered the full value of loans owed by Nursalim; if so, her case is weak.  But a larger question is her motive for resurrecting the matter (p. 6).

Electoral System: Officials set a 17 April 2019 date for national elections (p. 10).

Regional Elections: Authorities set a 27 June 2018 date for the next round of simultaneous regional‑head contests, including races in numerous key provinces (p. 11).

Jakarta: Incoming Governor Anies Baswedan affirmed that he will dispose of the provincial government’s stake in beer producer PT Delta Djakarta.  Placating Islamist backers is clearly a priority (p. 11).  Outgoing Governor Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) listed goals he seeks to accomplish before leaving office in October (p. 12).

Outlook: Some analysis on Purnama’s defeat posits that a rising tide of Islamic politics will drive the 2019 presidential race.  Such predictions have often proven wrong, and they likely do so again (p. 14).


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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