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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.

11 April 2014

Politics: If elected president, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (‘Jokowi’) would face an extraordinarily fragmented parliament that would complicate his ambitions. Ref Wkly anticipated a far different election outcome. Hypothetical poll questions – asking voters what party they would support depending on whom parties nominate – mistakenly assumed that voters would be fully informed about the parties’ plans. After months of conflicting messages from party leaders, and a late move to tap Widodo, voters may have been unclear about PDI P’s plans. With PDI P in a weak parliamentary position, Widodo (as president) would be less hostage to Megawati’s whims, but more vulnerable to attacks from a potentially overwhelming opposition (Page 2). Widodo said that he will choose his running mate himself, and a non-party figure should be possible: PDI P should ultimately pass the nominating threshold on its own, as seat allocation should aggrandize its share of parliament. But, to be fully certain, Widodo may wait until the 18 May allocation deadline before finalizing a VP choice. Widodo seems to recognize that bartering cabinet posts for parliamentary support would be fraught with problems. Defending himself from attacks may instead require dogged pursuit of favorable public opinion, to indirectly influence legislators (p. 8). Both President Yudhoyono and, separately, Gerindra founder Prabowo Subianto expressed acceptance of the election results (p. 10). An email from the address of Ardi Bakrie, a son of the Golkar chair, berated editors of the family’s web portal for disloyalty (p. 11).

Justice: The Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) is investigating the former Yudhoyono administration Health Minister Fadilah Supari (p. 11).

Policy News: The Energy Ministry has reportedly concluded contract renegotiations with Freeport and other mining companies, although officials made no mention of any changes to export taxes on copper. The government showed flexibility on divestment, a key issue (p.12). Kontan research shows that parties uniformly favor the renegotiation of energy and mining contracts, while most refrain from advocating subsidy reform (p. 12).

Outlook: Despite polls having missed a voter information gap, Widodo’s presidential election prospects remain intact and unaltered. A first round majority is still the most likely outcome. PDI P’s weak performance was attributable to confusion about the party – not reservations about Widodo. And even with a potential fourth ticket in the race, Widodo’s opponents remain weak (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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