Think Tank (1/2024)
(L-R) Dr Irman Lanti and Dr Leonard C. Sebastian
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The 2024 Indonesian General Election – How Would Indonesia Vote?
18 Jan 2024

Dr Irman Lanti, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Padjajaran University; and a Visiting Senior Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, RSIS; led a seminar on 18 January 2024 that asked the question: “How would Indonesia vote next month?” After reviewing the timeline of the presidential, national and regional legislative elections, and regional executive elections, Dr Irman provided an overview on the three presidential candidates – respectively Anies Baswedan, Prabowo Subianto, and Ganjar Pranowo.

Dr Irman then described how incumbent president Joko Widodo’s tacit endorsement of Prabowo, and the selection of his son Gibran Rakabuming, has turbocharged Prabowo’s candidacy that he now has a commanding lead over both Anies and Ganjar. Given his commanding lead in the polls, the Prabowo team is pushing hard for a one-round election. There is an emerging Anies-Ganjar alliance to stop Prabowo from winning the election outright, and to support whoever among them places second place in the first round. However, whether this alliance will be effective to stop Prabowo from winning the election outright remains to be seen.

The discussion continued during the Q&A, which included questions such as: how would Jokowi’s support play a role during the election campaign, whether there are any groupings of undecided voters who have not made their candidate’s preference known, which candidate(s) have more appeal among the youth and multiple political constituencies (traditionalist and modernist Muslims, voters living in islands outside of Java, etc.), and what are the implications of the presidential election results on Indonesian foreign policy, particularly in the midst of an emerging geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China. Dr Irman actively engaged with the audience in answering these questions. He could only give his best predictions of the outcome, but assured everyone that this election would certainly be one for the books.

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