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The 2014 Elections and Dynamics of Change James Van Zorge AIC March 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "The 2014 Elections and Dynamics of Change James Van Zorge AIC March 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2014 Elections and Dynamics of Change James Van Zorge AIC March 2014

2 The 2014 elections and dynamics of change Forces-at-work 2 An entrenched elite controlling political parties has been behind the setting of high barriers-to- entry for presidential candidates through electoral laws. Fluid Political Environment Fluid Political Environment The Oligarchs A New Voter 1/3 of electorate (60m people) are first-time participants in not loyal to any political party. Requires new ways to reach out. Apparent candidates: PDI-P’s Joko Widodo, Golkar Aburizal Bakrie, Gerindra’s Prabowo Subianto. A Jokowi’s victory would signal the beginning of change in Indonesian Politics Dynamics of Change The Jokowi Factor Huge surprise from Joko Widodo’ victory to be Jakarta governer, served as a wake-up call for the major political parties. A new figure with a common touch and strong connection with the broad masses

3 The 2014 elections and dynamics of change The Big Questions 3 Critical challenges for Joko Widodo or “Jokowi”, the front runner −How to maintain popular appeal. Jokowi’s opponent will be using all means to attack his image as an effective and clean leader. −Who would be the ideal coalition partners. The choice of coalition partners needs to be strategic to guarantee victory. −Who is the right running mate. The choice of VP for PDI-P will influence voter decisions. Tough challenges faced by Prabowo Subianto, currently pooling second −How to pass the threshold. First, a vote for Gerindra party is a vote for his presidency; and second, finding willing and capable coalition partners. −Getting the ‘right’ running mate. To find the one that can compensate for his weaknesses and connect with the electorate. Aburizal Bakrie, the least popular candidate −Victory is not the point. He probably knows he can’t win, but his main objective is to remain as chairman of Golkar and therefore retain his political influence (and protect his business empire).

4 The 2014 elections and dynamics of change x Scenarios and their implications The oligarchy continues Very low probability Triggers  Prabowo Subianto fails to qualify as a presidential candidate.  PDI-P performs way below expectations  Unlikely pairing of Aburizal Bakrie as running mate for Joko Widodo. Implications  Joko Widodo would be surrounded by a cabinet not of his making and VP at complete odds with his agenda  Worst-case scenario for Indonesia, a replay of the old school money politics and rampant corruption

5 Triggers  Gerindra party secures >10% in parliamentary election  PDI-P performs less than expected in parliamentary election  Rumors and/or news that taint Jokowi’s reputation Implications  Prabowo’s presidency would mark a departure in style from his predecessors  Risk of Prabowo’s ‘second-class temperament’ to be a strong liability and harm his prestige within elite circles and public  Would not expect Prabowo’s policies to be radically different from his predecessors The 2014 elections and dynamics of change x Scenarios and their implications The general rises Medium-low probability

6 The 2014 elections and dynamics of change x Scenarios and their implications A new beginning High probability Triggers  Joko Widodo is able to pick a credible running mate  Prabowo and Bakrie continue to poll significantly below Joko Widodo.  The presidential elections (July 9) are decided in the first round. Implications  Joko Widodo would seem to bring the greatest reform chance. But Megawai will remain in control of PDI-P.  Challenge on how Joko Widodo deals with a anti-reform minded DPR  Another challenge on how to deal with local governments


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