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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.
Politics: President-Elect Joko Widodo named a controversial former general as an advisor to his Transition Office – Hendropriyono, a former State Intelligence Agency (Bin) chief whom Megawati valued within her administration. By resuscitating the careers of Soeharto-era figures, Widodo risks complicating his goals of bringing about governance reform, as well as the ‘Mental Revolution’ that he espouses (Page 2). Widodo emphasized again that he will not barter cabinet seats to parties, and he added that he may prohibit ministers from serving simultaneously in political party leadership posts (p. 4). Press reports cite several names who are reputedly assisting the Transition Office, and who may head several Working Groups (Pokja) within the office. Most of the choices seem attributable to political connections, rather than professional expertise. A focus at present is reconsidering the institutional structure of the cabinet (p. 4). Golkar Chair Aburizal Bakrie threatened to expel Vice Party Chair Agung Laksono from the leadership unless he clarifies his stance about demanding an accelerated party congress schedule (p. 7).
Surveys: A nationwide poll by the Survey Network (Lingkaran Survei) shows that Widodo’s popularity has increased since the presidential election, while support for his challenger, Prabowo Subianto, has declined (p. 8).
Justice: Investigators from the Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) resumed progress on a questionable case that involves former State Audit Agency (BPK) Chair Hadi Poernomo and the country’s largest private bank, BCA (p. 8).
Security: Officials implemented an array of measures designed to curb the appeal of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) in Indonesia (p. 9).
Policy News: After Japan’s foreign minister, the second dignitary to meet Widodo was the foreign minister of North Korea. This may be another sign of Widodo’s deference to Megawati, who reputedly had rapport with the late Supreme Leader Kim Jung Il (p. 9).
Outlook: Constitutional Court proceedings have produced no compelling narrative to explain how “structured, systemic and massive” fraud deprived Prabowo. The administration has remained impartial and even Prabowo’s allies seem resigned to a ruling for Widodo on 21 August. Under intense scrutiny, justices seem to be taking pains to be fair, which bodes well for the Jakarta governor (p. 11).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.