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REFORMASI WEEKLY REVIEW
SUMMARY OVERVIEW
29 August 2014

Politics: President-Elect Joko Widodo highlighted President Yudhoyono’s unwillingness to raise subsidized fuel prices, even though funds in the 2014 budget are inadequate to sustain the subsidies beyond early December, at the latest. Widodo implicitly signaled his own intention to hike prices upon taking office. In effect, he is deftly using the transition phase to attribute the need for a hike to Yudhoyono. But the maneuvering is inevitably delicate: Yudhoyono chairs the fourth largest party in the next parliament, which Widodo would like to rely upon as an ally (Page 2). Proposals by the Presidential Transition Office to restructure certain ministries encountered criticism from Vice President Elect Jusuf Kalla – but the Golkar businessman has pursued shortcuts in the past that backfired, while eschewing patient approaches to institution building. Widodo may disregard Kalla’s input (p. 4). Jakarta Vice Governor Basuki Purnama downplayed his role in Gerindra and intimated that Widodo will be more discerning in appointments for ministers than he has been for the Transition Office (p. 5). Reports link a former military chief to the military style trucks used by pro Prabowo demonstrators last week (p. 8).

Surveys: In a new poll, 71 percent of respondents are optimistic about Widodo (p. 9).

Justice: Partai Demokrat’s indicted former chair faces new allegations (p. 9).

Policy News: Administration officials ruled out a fuel price hike (p. 11). The government prevailed upon the state oil company Pertamina to rescind a recent move to restrict the supply of subsidized fuel (p. 12).

Legislation: 42 bills have some degree of potential to pass into law in the final weeks of parliament’s tenure (p. 13). The controversial Banking Bill now seems unlikely to pass, amid opposition from respected financial sector figures (p. 14). Lawmakers will reportedly leave the direct election mechanism for regional heads unchanged (p. 15). A new Law on Geothermal Energy resolves conflicts with forest use rules and shifts regulatory authority to the center. The measure offers potential for unleashing under used potential for clean renewable energy (p. 15). A new Law on Standards and Suitability Assessments (SPK) aims to be a “weapon” against “global competition” (p. 16).

Appointments: Eight ministers are due to resign by end September (p. 16).

Obituaries: The chair of Prabowo Subianto’s Gerindra Party, Suhardi, succumbed to cancer (p. 17).

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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