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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.

27 March 2015

Politics: Megawati’s PDI Perjuangan joined with opposition parties, including Aburizal Bakrie’s faction of Golkar, in refusing to consider the president’s nomination of Com Gen Badrodin Haiti for police chief. They demand that President Widodo explain why the previous nominee (whom parliament approved), Com Gen Budi Gunawan, did not undergo induction. The ploy poses no real hazard for Widodo, who has several alterna¬tives for handling the matter. But the episode starkly signifies PDI P’s escalating hostility towards its own president (Page 2). Golkar parliamentarians are defying the authority of the law minister, as stipulated in the 2011 Political Parties Law, to determine which rival factions are legitimate in party leadership disputes. At issue is the balance of power in the legislature. Given the administration’s apparent unwillingness to challenge the legality of decisions by parliament’s leadership, Bakrie’s faction is likely to continue augmenting the opposition until court verdicts come forth, perhaps by June (p. 4). A prominent PDI P figure, Rieke Pitaloka, criticized Widodo harshly (p. 5).

Justice: There are suspicions that judges are abetting underhanded maneuvers by the plaintiff in the alleged child sex abuse case involving the Jakarta Intercultural School (Jis). The civil case developments bode ill for the criminal case verdict due next week. Amid a lack of evidence, a potential guilty verdict for Jis educators would adversely affect sentiment, by highlighting the pernicious unpredictability of legal system outcomes (p. 6).

Policy News: The cabinet is backpedaling on a ban against using hotels for govern¬ment meetings. It had been a crude but effective measure to curb waste (p. 8). Higher state health premiums have met controversy (p. 9). A verdict on a major illegal fishing vessel underscores the difficulty of law enforcement amid unreformed institutions (p. 9).

Appointments: The Finance Ministry is considering restructuring (p. 10). Speaker Setya Novanto is demanding diplomatic passports for all parliamentarians (p. 10).

Economics: The Bank Indonesia governor emphasized the importance of Indonesia differentiating itself from other economies competing for investment (p. 11).

Jakarta: On the eve of a deadline, the provincial assembly (DPRD) rejected the gover¬nor’s 2015 budget. The province must re-use 2014 budget sums this year (p. 12).

Outlook: Amid PDI P’s increasingly severe abuse of Widodo, Golkar’s factional saga takes on added significance. Distance between the president and PDI P may be untenable without change in Golkar (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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