Interlude: 9 July, Indonesia votes for the new President, and what does have to do with you?

If you’re an Indonesia citizen, a lot.

If you’re an expat or regular visitor, a lot.

Your blog correspondent has been around for all of Indonesia’s Presidents, from Sukarno the Great Leader of Independence from the Dutch, to Soeharto the Father of Development, through a few others, all the way to President SBY, who hasn’t made much of a name for himself, to be honest.

In all the previous elections, it was pretty much a big yawn feast. It was clear who’d win, it was clear there wouldn’t be a great deal of change or difference in governance.

This year it is different. A close race between Jokowi, an unknown “man of the people” and former mayor of the city of Solo and then Jakarta and so thrust into the limelight, and Prabowo, a former general from Soeharto’s time, and in fact Soeharto’s son-in-law (now divorced).

I don’t know much about Jokowi except what I read in the papers and see on TV. He is famous for his random visits to everyday places and talking to ordinary people. I know considerably more about Prabowo. He is an authoritarian figure. A very authoritarian figure who by his own admission made student activists disappear. He does not have delusions of grandeur. There is nothing delusional about him. If he were to become president, he would be a very grand president indeed. In this presidential campaign of 2014 he started out as underdog months ago but he’s been trained in psychological warfare and he’s put together a brilliant campaign that has closed the gap and divided this country in a way I’ve never seen before.

Those who want a Man-of-the-People who works together with them, vs. those who want a Strong Leader.

The Prabowo team has taken a lesson from the US presidential elections, where the right wing spread slander and innuendo that Barrack Obama was a foreigner and a secret Muslim. The Prabowo team is spreading slander and innuendo that Jokowi is Chinese and a secret Christian. Pretty ironic, the symmetry reversal there.

Prabowo has taken the FPI under his wing. These are the fundamentalist zealots who want you to live under sharia law.

Just that alone…

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6 Responses to Interlude: 9 July, Indonesia votes for the new President, and what does have to do with you?

  1. mattjenna says:

    The curse of interesting times – Australia voted to go ‘back to the future’ with the Abbott election, be a shame for Indonesia to do the same by electing Pak Prabowo.

  2. Elvis says:

    scarier still, most Indonesians I have talked to in the last few days seem indecisive on who they are voting for.. My personal polling tonite of guys in the toko, madura sate warung, and Pak RT and family has Jokowi up by a whisker 🙂 let’s all harap…

    • If the election are truly fair and square, I’m pretty sure Jokowi will win. But there’s a master manipulator at work here…

      • Rinjani Saraswati says:

        Could you give us proof that there is a master manipulator as your statement, Bali Surf Stories? For the sake of successful Indonesia election program, better do not provoke by giving any misjudging comment, Sir. Please be mature, intellectual and wise. Peace…!!!

  3. No proof, and no names mentioned, just personal experience and knowledge, Rinjani. May the outcome be peacefully accepted…

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