Essay on A Historical Turning Point For Indonesia 's Democracy

1128 Words Mar 11th, 2016 null Page
The year 2014 has been a historical turning point for Indonesia’s democracy since 1999. First, it marked the end of the 10-year reign of President Yudhoyono, who was Indonesia’s first directly elected president and also the first to be democratically reelected (Aspinall and Mietzner 347). But most importantly, it was the year when Indonesia’s democracy had narrowly escaped from possible reversal to the repressive Suharto’s New Order regime. Two populist candidates, Jokowi and Prabowo, competed against each other in the 2014 presidential election; Jokowi represented the continuity of Indonesian democracy, whereas Prabowo, a former general under Suharto, promoted authoritarian-populist message suggesting recentralization of power and dismantling of key democratic institutions (Aspinall and Mietzner 347). Even though Jokowi won the presidential election with 53% against Prabowo’s 47% (Aspinall and Mietzner 361) and the country’s democracy was secured, this narrow margin of victory suggests that the future of Indonesia’s democracy remains uncertain, especially as Prabowo and his supporters will further promote their anti-democratic disposition as they control a sufficiently large amount of parliament seats in the DPR. So, what led to democracy’s close call in Indonesia?
Indonesia has undergone a democratic transition since the fall of Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998. Today, Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy, harboring more than 237 million inhabitants…

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