Indonesia conducted its general election on 17 April 2019. The election was labeled as ‘the largest single-day democratic election in the world,’ as eligible voters elected candidates for president, national parliament, provincial, and regional legislative chambers simultaneously. Final results of the election were announced by the Indonesian Election Commission (KPU) on 22 May 2019.
However, many observers have called this election as one of the most divisive in Indonesia’s 74-year history as an independent nation. The presidential campaign was marred with the widespread usage of identity politics by supporters of its two contenders – incumbent president Joko (‘Jokowi’) Widodo and Lieutenant General (ret.) Prabowo Subianto. In addition, the campaign was also marred by accusations of electoral irregularities and money politics.
Over the past year, the RSIS Indonesia Programme staff members have conducted field research in several key battleground provinces, including West Java, Central Java, East Java, West Sumatra, and South Sulawesi. Their research confirms the emerging political cleavages between Jokowi and Prabowo supporters. Our research team had also observed the mobilization campaigns that had contributed to Prabowo’s victory in ‘outer island’ provinces like West Sumatra and South Sulawesi, as well as Jokowi’s victory in Central and East Java – which resulted in his re-election into the Indonesian presidency.
In this seminar, our presenters will elaborate on their research findings from these battleground provinces. Our presenters will discuss the following: 1) election results from these provinces, 2) a comparison of national-local political dynamics, 3) the role of identity politics, and 4) the potential implications for the 2019 general elections for the future of Indonesia’s security and foreign policy.
About the Speakers
Alexander R. Arifianto is a Research Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He obtained his PhD in political science from Arizona State University. His research interest is political Islam and regional politics in Indonesia. His publications have appeared in refereed journals such as Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Asian Security, Asian Politics and Policy, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (formerly ASEAN Economic Bulletin).
Syafiq Hasyim is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also the Director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) Jakarta and Lecturer at the faculty of politics and social sciences, UIN Jakarta. He obtained an MA in Islamic Studies from Leiden University and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Freie Universitaet, Berlin. Among his publications are Understanding Women in Islam (Solstice Publishing: 2006), Bebas dari Patriarkhisme Islam (Kata Kita, 2011), “Majelis Ulama Indonesia and Pluralism in Indonesia,” in Philosophy and Social Criticism (Sage: 2015), “The Council of Indonesian Ulama (MUI) and Aqīda-Based Intolerance, A Critical Analysis of Its Fatwa on Ahmadiyah and ‘Sepilis’”, (Routledge: 2016), “Multicultural Dakwah and its Challenge in Southeast Asia” (Foudus Verlag: 2017) and Islam Nusantara dalam Konteks (Gading: February 2018).
Andar Nubowo is an Associate Research Fellow at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He received his Master’s degree from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and was the President Director of Lazismu, Muhammadiyah’s philanthropy body, the most prominent philanthropic organization in Indonesia. He is currently doing his PhD research on Wassatiyat Islam and its challenges in contemporary 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 Masters 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.
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 in political science (International Relations) from Parahyangan Catholic University in 2008. His publications 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.