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REFORMASI WEEKLY REVIEW
SUMMARY OVERVIEW
23 September 2016

Politics: Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) finally received backing from the largest party in the Provincial Assembly (DPRD), Megawati’s PDI Perjuangan. This should assure his prospects in the February election. He will likely compete against the elder son of former President Yudhoyono, Maj Agus Yudhoyono, who will retire from the military to stand for governor as the nominee of four parties. Running for regional head is a sound choice for the well spoken 38 year old, but he is aiming high: in the race for the nation’s most coveted regional head post, he is entering at a late stage, as a novice, against a particularly formidable incumbent. A third ticket will likely feature the former minister for primary education, Anies Baswedan, with the business figure Sandiaga Uno, backed by Gerindra and the Islamic Justice Welfare Party (PKS) (Page 2).

Justice: Suspects in the Maluku road building kickbacks case testified that they were part of a far larger scheme, involving 2016 Public Works projects worth Rp2.8 trillion. If there is truth to the claims, the case could mushroom into an affair that affects perceptions of the infrastructure sector – or catalyzes overdue governance reforms (p. 4). Investigators from the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) apprehended the speaker of the Regional Representatives Assembly (DPD), West Sumatra’s Irman Gusman. Although lacking in power, Gusman has long had a respectable reputation; the case may therefore exacerbate public skepticism about public officials (p. 7). KPK officials will announce a new suspect in the 2011-12 electronic identity card (e-KTP) case. The case could embroil high level figures (p. 7).

Policy News: In a breakthrough on energy subsidies, parliamentarians approved a long-overdue increase for small-household electricity tariffs. This bodes well for economic efficiency and fiscal space by 2018; at the same time, however, it elevates the urgency of efforts to bolster incomes for the poor (p. 8). The new transportation minister mandated new initiatives to bring down port dwelling times, including progressive fines for container overstays and standard operating procedures for regional ports. But results may require thorough governance reforms in key ministries (p. 10).

Regional Elections: The former Aceh governor and corruption convict Abdullah Puteh seems unlikely to make an independent bid in the 2017 gubernatorial race, but incumbent Zaini Abdullah will (p. 11).

Economics: The central bank’s move to cut rates bodes well for growth (p. 12).

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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