First held in 2015 and then in 2017, the simultaneous local elections (pilkada serentak) in Indonesia for 2018 had grown much larger in scale, covering 17 provinces, 39 municipalities and 115 regencies throughout the archipelago. Approximately two-thirds of Indonesia’s population (174 out of 261 million) are estimated to live in five provinces holding gubernatorial elections – North Sumatera, West, Central, and East Java, and South Sulawesi – making this year’s pilkada election politically significant.
In addition, regional executive elections, especially those that elect provincial governors, are increasingly being viewed as a barometer for the forthcoming 2019 general election . A number of Indonesian parties which opposed President Joko Widodo has vowed to use the 2018 pilkada as a referendum for his presidency and his political party, the Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle (PDI-P). However, local dynamics seem to upstage national dynamics in a number of local contests, as Gerindra and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) are being forced to form coalitions with PDI-P in order to support a number of gubernatorial and regional executive candidates.
Are the local elections of 2018 effective barometers for the upcoming 2019 Indonesian general elections? How much of an influence was the role of identity politics – as seen in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections – on other regions in Indonesia? Are there any general trends observable in the 2018 pilkada that can have potential implications for the 2019 general election or should the elections and their implications be seen within their own local context?
In this seminar, our presenters will seek to answer these questions and more, focusing particularly on the gubernatorial elections in West Java, Riau Islands, East Java and West Kalimantan where fieldwork was done both before and after election day on 27 June. In their presentations, our presenters will discuss the following: 1) election results, 2) comparison of national-local political dynamics, 3) role of identity politics, and 4) potential implications for the 2019 general elections.
About the Speakers
Alexander R. Arifianto (Ph.D., political science, Arizona State University) is a Research Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) – Nanyang Technological University – Singapore. His research interest is political Islam and regional politics in Indonesia. His publications have appeared in refereed journals such as Asian Security, Asian Politics and Policy, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (formerly ASEAN Economic Bulletin).
Keoni Marzuki is a Senior Analyst at the Indonesia Programme. He joined the Indonesia Programme in October 2015 after obtaining his M.Sc degree in Strategic Studies in 2015 at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He was a programme associate at the Indonesia Programme from 2013-2015 while concurrently studying full-time at RSIS under the Research Analyst Award. He provided assistance to Associate Professor Leonard Sebastian, Jonathan Chen and Adhi Priamarizki in the publication of Indonesia Beyond Reformasi: Necessity and the ‘De-Centering” of Democracy, Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies, no. 3 – 2014 (218), Carey School of Law, University of Maryland. He obtained his bachelor degree on political science (international relation) from Parahyangan Catholic University in 2008. His publication have appeared in The Jakarta Post, East Asia Forum and Eurasia Review. Additionally, he had also published in Indonesian journals such as Jurnal Analisis CSIS, Indonesian Quarterly, and Strategic Review.
Chaula Rininta Anindya is a Research Analyst at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She joined the Indonesia Programme in October 2017 after obtaining her M.Sc degree in Strategic Studies in 2017 at RSIS, NTU. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Universitas Indonesia, graduating with distinction. Prior to joining the Indonesia Programme as a Research Analyst, she was a Student Research Assistant for the Indonesia Programme doing research work and managing Indonesia-Singapore Young Leaders Workshop 2017.
Chen Jieyang Jonathan is an Associate Research Fellow at the Indonesia Programme. He joined the Indonesia Programme in December 2012 after obtaining his M.Sc degree in International Relations in 2010 at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). In addition, he also has a Masters of Arts degree in Southeast Asia Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS). His research interests are regional politics in Indonesia, the Chinese in Indonesia and East Timor politics.
Adri Wanto is an Associate Research Fellow at the Indonesia Programme. He joined the Indonesia Programme in September 2007. He completed his MSc degree in Asian Studies in 2011 at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He holds a Bachelor Degree in International Relations from the Moestopo University. He also studied at the Faculty of Human Civilization, majoring in Philosophy and Religion, Paramadina University. Both universities are located in Jakarta, Indonesia.Prior to joining RSIS, he worked as a researcher at Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicated (SSS), Indonesia, from 2004-2007, focusing on Islamic politics in Indonesia. He was a staff coordinator of polling activities in two provinces. From 2005 to 2007 he was also an assistant lecturer at the Department of International Relations, University of Moestopo. His research interests are the evolution of religious doctrine, political Islam, and religious behaviour in Indonesia.
Dedi Dinarto is a Research Associate at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He joined the Indonesia Programme in July 2017 after obtaining his B.A degree in International Relations in 2016 at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. He is currently pursuing his Master degree in International Relations at RSIS, NTU. His research covers Indonesia’s foreign policy, Chinese investment in Indonesia, and political dynamics in the Riau Islands. He is also in charge of the Riau Bulletin publication, a monthly newsletter covering key local developments in the Riau Islands.
Emirza Adi Syailendra is a Senior Analyst at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. His research covers the issues of the nexus of domestic politics and foreign policy (focusing on Indonesia and China), civil – military relations in Indonesia, strategic culture of the Indonesian military, and democracy and current affairs in Indonesia. Recent and forthcoming refereed publications include articles in Asian Security and INDONESIA (Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program).