See More on Facebook

Politics

Indonesia regional elections: A promising sign for Jokowi?

Indonesians went to the polls on Wednesday in the country’s 2018 regional elections, widely viewed as a barometer for the presidential election due next year.


Written by

Updated: July 2, 2018

Over 150 million people were registered to elect 17 governors, 39 mayors and 115 regents across the country.

Quick counts of votes by various pollsters suggest a favourable outcome is likely for current Indonesian President Joko Widodo, with candidates backed by parties supporting the president in the lead in key regions. Official results will be released next month.

Commonly referred to as “Jokowi,” Indonesia’s president is widely expected to face off against retired general Prabowo Subianto next year in a re-run of the 2014 election which saw Jokowi narrowly clinch a victory over his rival. Here is a closer look at some of the key regions in the election.

West Java

The most populous province in the country, West Java is widely believed to be a particularly significant early indicator for next year’s presidential election. Known for being religiously conservative, West Java is the area where the country’s Islamist Prosperous Justice Party enjoys the most support, according to The Jakarta Post. It was also a key region that Jokowi failed to win in the 2014 presidential election, with Prabowo emerging victorious with 59.78 per cent of vote.

Early results in the region look promising for Jokowi. Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil appears to have a slim lead, The Jakarta Post reported, citing quick counts of votes by six pollsters. Ridwan and his running-mate Uu Ruzhanul Ulum are backed by the Islamist PKB and United Development Party (PPP), both parties that support the president.

However, the quick results have also yielded some surprise good news for his rival Prabowo, with Sudrajat, a candidate backed by Prabowo’s opposition Gerindra party in a close second behind Ridwan. Sudrajat, a former two-star general, was initially predicted to finish third behind Deddy Mizwar and his running-mate Dedi Mulyadi, who are backed by the Jokowi-supporting Golkar party.

East Java

Former social affairs minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa looks set to claim the victory in East Java, with quick counts by Kompas Research Centre and Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting showing that she has won 53.74 and 52.3 per cent of the vote respectively, the Jakarta Post reported.

If she wins, it will be third time lucky for Khofifah, who ran unsuccessfully for the position in 2008 and 2013. A member of Islamic group Nahdlatul Ulama, she is backed by the Democratic Party, the Jokowi-supporting Golkar party, the Nas Dem Party and the United Development party (PPP), another recent supporter of the president.

Saifulah “Gus Ipul” Yusuf, the other candidate in the region, is supported by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Gerindra Party.

According to The Jakarta Post, both candidates could feasibly have the endorsement of Jokowi – Gus Ipul as the chosen candidate of Jokowi’s PDI-P and Khofifah as a former member of the president’s cabinet.

Central Java

In Central Java, it seems likely that incumbent governor Ganjar Pranowo will maintain his grip on the position, easily pulling ahead of Gerindra-backed Sudirman Said.

A victory for the PDI-P in the province would surprise no one – Central Java is viewed as a stronghold for nationalist parties such as the PDI-P, which has won all legislative elections there since 1999, The Jakarta Post reported.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge verdict to be delivered

Tribunal to deliver verdicts against two Khmer Rouge leaders for Cambodian genocide. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from the ECCC, also known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal, will come after Case 002/2, which charged the men with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, took 283 days to be heard over a three-year period. Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said at a press briefing on Thursday that the verdicts in Case 002/02 will be announced from 9:30am, with around 500 representatives from the UN, the Cambodian government, embassies and members of the public present. “The trial is a part of the process of providing justice for the


By Phnom Phen Post
November 16, 2018

Politics

Pakistan says Asia Bibi’s rights will be respected

Imran Khan on Tuesday reaffirmed his government’s resolve to respect the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned. “As citizens of Pakistan, Asia Bibi and her family are entitled to all rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan,” the premier told European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who had telephoned Khan. According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Tajani thanked Khan for ensuring the safety and security of Bibi and her family. Assuring the prime minister of the EU Parliament’s cooperation with the Pakistani government, Tajani said that a debate on Bibi scheduled to be held in the EU Parliament had been postponed. Bibi has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of


By Dawn
November 14, 2018

Politics

Malaysia Cabinet agrees to scrap death penalty

If approved by lawmakers, capital punishment will be replaced with minimum 30 years in jail. Malaysia’s de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong told Parliament yesterday that the Cabinet has agreed to scrap the death penalty, including for murder, but Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail appeared to hedge over the matter by telling reporters that the government would review abolishing it for murder. “We are reviewing it. The death penalty is one of those that we will review,” she said when asked if the government would keep the death penalty for child murders. But when The Straits Times contacted Datuk Liew again, he insisted that “all 32 death penalty offences found in eight of our laws” would be abolished.


By The Straits Times
November 14, 2018

Politics

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu


By China Daily
November 13, 2018

Politics

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Politics

Date set for Bangladesh elections

Bangladesh will hold a parliamentary election on December 23 despite the failure of political parties to resolve major contentious issues over the polls. The country’s chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said there was a “congenial atmosphere” to hold the polls and promised it will be free and fair. “We hope we will be able to hold a free, fair and acceptable election,” Huda said in a televised address. A day before, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wrapped up week-long talks between the ruling Awami League-led 14-party combine and at least 80 parties under the banners of different alliances. During the dialogue, Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and several other opposition parties, demanded for a dissolution of parliament before the polls and the creation of a caretaker government. The ruling party, however, rejected it over const


By Asia News Network
November 9, 2018