Rodrigo Duterte and Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia

Image source: The Australian

Indonesia's Joko Widodo jets in as new bond forged

4 November 2016

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Associate Professor, HDR Convenor

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Last month The Economist Intelligence Unit observed Jokowi’s growing confidence in his role, and success in building parliamentary support, means he now has the numbers to pass desired reforms. On the back of that buoyant forecast it predicts Indonesia’s economy will grow an average 5.1 per cent a year to 2020.

Not everyone is as optimistic about Indonesia’s democratic trajectory under Jokowi, however.

“Indonesia only stands out as Southeast Asia’s most solid democracy because some of its neighbours have either seen democratic crises (Thailand, Philippines), a volatile transition (Myanmar) or continued authoritarianism (Singapore, Vietnam and others),” cautions Marcus Mietzner, an Indonesian expert at Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

“Seen from an internal perspective, Indonesian democracy has stagnated since about 2006, and arguably even regressed somewhat since Jokowi’s ascension to the presidency in 2014,” he adds, citing rising religious conservatism, attacks on the LGBT community, and a new campaign against perceived communist threats.

But from an Australian perspective, the contrast between Indonesia and its closest neighbours could scarcely have been starker in recent days.

Read the full article Indonesia’s Joko Widodo jets in as new bond forged in The Australian.

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