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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: Student groups that have been quiet in recent years abruptly staged simulta¬neous demonstrations in 19 cities, protesting price levels. The government’s recent hike for motorcycle registration fees apparently triggered the action; nonetheless, the engage¬ment of students in politics – as reform is languishing – may be positive (Page 2). Gerindra figures are equivocating over whether Prabowo will run again in 2019 (p. 3). Delays affect the revision of the Law on Representative Assemblies (UU MD3) to expand parliament’s leadership, as proposals arise for additional changes (p. 4). The first of three debates between Jakarta governor candidates offers Basuki Purnama (‘Ahok’) a chance to stand out; it will also test the readiness of the inexperienced Agus Yudhoyono (p. 4).
Justice: Police may charge Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq with denigrating state emblems, after he declared that Bank Indonesia’s new banknotes contain hidden Communist symbols (p. 6). The arrest last month of Central Java’s Klaten District chief sheds light on the systematic selling of appointments and promotions (p. 6).
Policy News: The fourth revision of a key mining regulation opens opportunities for exports of low grade nickel and bauxite ore, but it delivers a severe blow to the outlook for the giant copper and gold producer PT Freeport Indonesia (p. 7). The president initiated an effort to restore more than 2m Ha of peatland by 2020 (p. 10). Plans for a Land Bank are on hold, pending a mandate in law (p. 10).
Electoral System: Parties are divided over whether to scrap the presidential nominating threshold. Doing so would boost democratic dynamics (p. 12).
Regional Elections: Dynamic and strategic races are underway in Banten Province, West Papua Province and the district of Bekasi, West Java, but poll data is lacking (p. 13).
Jakarta: Construction is starting on the first of six intra city non toll roads (p. 15).
Appointments: A candidate for Air Force chief is the Defense Ministry’s inspector general, Vice Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who has past links with Widodo. He stands out for the recent groundbreaking prosecution of an Army general for malfeasance in Defense Ministry procurement. If selected, Tjahjanto could be a potential 2018 pick for military chief (p. 15).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.