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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.

20 July 2018

Politics: Seven ministers have registered as candidates for parliament in the April 2019 legislative election, but they need not resign their posts to run.  Former Anti‑Corruption Commission (KPK) spokesperson Johan Budi will be a PDI‑Perjuangan candidate for parliament from East Java (Page 2).  President Joko Widodo’s reputed short‑list for vice president includes former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud Mahmodin, outgoing West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor Zainul Majdi and Golkar Chair Airlangga Hartarto (p. 3).  Prabowo and former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono conferred, but produced no announcement about an anticipated alliance (p. 4).  Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s prospect for a third term is remote – but not yet impossible (p. 4).  Widodo received a visit from the 18‑year‑old gold medalist Lalu Zohri (p. 4).

Surveys: A poll two months ago by an impartial government agency, the Sciences Institute (Lipi), showed Widodo with 58 percent and Prabowo with 27 percent (p. 5).  The Survey Network claims that support for Islamic Law has increased from five percent in 2005 to 13 percent now.  But even if the hike is real, the current proportion advocating Syariah remains modest (p. 7).

Justice: A KPK investigation may cause negative publicity for the Widodo administration, as a Golkar minister, Idrus Marham, is undergoing questioning, along with State Power Company (PLN) Chief Director Sofyan Basyir.  To date, no Widodo minister has become a corruption suspect.  The current juncture – near the start of presidential campaigning, and after four years in office – would be an awkward time for Widodo to suffer the first arrest of a cabinet member (p. 8).

Policy News: Officials affirmed that PT Inalum will attempt to use private and foreign banks, rather than state banks, to finance its US$3.85 billion acquisition of Freeport (p. 10).   A long‑discussed revision of the 1997 Law on Non‑Tax State Income could still face resistance, but it has at least passed a key legislative hurdle.  If enacted, the measure would empower the finance minister to rectify maladministration of non‑tax income – potentially boosting state revenue while curbing rentier practices (p. 11).

Economics: Poverty declined significantly, reaching the lowest rate in history, 9.8 percent.  Widodo will likely underscore the achievement in his re‑election campaigning.  But huge numbers are ‘near-poor’ and recent economic adversity could jeopardize the progress (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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