When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Indonesia, you cannot escape discussions about the presidential elections to be held this 9th of july.
The election process
In order to become one of the contenders for the Presidency of Indonesia, a candidate can only be nominated ba a party (or parties) representing 20% of the seats in Parliament or 25% of the popular vote in the Parlementary elections. This is a steep hill to climb. This page will provide more details (wikipedia bias alert!)
Jokowi vs Prabowo
The last two men standing are
Joko Widodo ‘Jokowi’ (1961)
Presently the governor of Jakarta. Former mayor of Surakarta. He is very popular. Talking to people I hear ‘the president will fix it’, ‘if the governor only knew’. This – slightly disturbing – if the Leader only knew (try translating that into German!) confidence is more than I have ever heard expressed about any onther politician or party in Indonesia. Some are criticising him for using the governorship of Jakarta as a launch pad for the presidency. ‘His work here is not yet done’. See this article (wikipedia bias alert!) for more information.
Prabowo Subianto ‘Prabowo’ (1951)
Former special forces commander. Active in East Timor and more infamously during the riots in Jakarta in 1998. At least nine democracy activist were allegedly kidnapped and tortured by troops under Prabowo’s command. Ambitious to become army chief after the fall of Suharto in 1998. Instead dismissed from the army. When I first heard about this candidate, I was fortunately sitting down. More information here (very biased Wikipedia alert!)
According to The Economist (24 may 2014), Probowo is catching up in the polls and the race. The endorsement of Golkar is a great coup for the candidate. His coalition does now control 52% of the seats in parliament against 37% for Jokowi.
One month is a long time in politics…