Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Political Outlook 2014: An Independent Perspective of Indonesia's Third Democratic Elections

Wimar Witoelar

Former Presidential Spokesperson, Political Observer, Writer, Media Personality

About a year from now Indonesia will hold its direct legislative (April 9) and presidential elections (July 9), the third direct elections held since the 1998 political reform.  Fifteen political parties will participate in the general elections, the smallest number to participate in the reform era.  A revised presidential election bill is currently being deliberated, with the presidential threshold as one of the crucial issues to be agreed on.  Other changes that may affect the outcome of the elections include a higher parliamentary threshold to enter the national legislature and potential voters list, which will now be based on electronic identity cards information.

The upcoming 2014 presidential election is also noteworthy as there will be no incumbent participating, as the constitution limits the President’s term to a maximum of two five-year terms.  Up to 36 prominent public figures have been mentioned through media and public discussion as potential presidential candidates.  The elections will potentially be the most closely contested in Indonesian history.

Wimar Witoelar shared his keen perspective on the strategic issues and current political mood of Indonesia, which could make the 2014 elections different from any before. Mr. Witoelar also discussed his view of the progress of democracy in Indonesia and the role of civil society in aligning with Indonesia’s present and future democratic development.

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