from Asia Unbound

What Might Jokowi Do After (Apparent) Victory?

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin react after a quick count result during the Indonesian elections in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 17, 2019. Edgar Su/Reuters

April 17, 2019

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin react after a quick count result during the Indonesian elections in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 17, 2019. Edgar Su/Reuters
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Incumbent Indonesian president Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, appears to have handily won a second term in Indonesia’s presidential elections this week. Although the final, confirmed results will not be available for weeks, quick and unofficial counts released after the election on April 17 showed Jokowi defeating rival Prabowo Subianto by around 10 percent. (The quick counts have generally proven reliable in the past.) In concurrent parliamentary elections, Jokowi’s coalition seems to have taken enough seats to control more than 50 percent of parliament, although the final results in the parliamentary election are also not due for weeks.

Jokowi has proven a charismatic but often cautious leader, despite bold promises of reform in his first campaign in 2014; his first term did not live up to high hopes. But, after this election—and the fact that he does not have to run again—Jokowi could convert his personal popularity, and the power that comes with a big win, to restart economic reform, strengthen the country’s democracy, and rethink Jakarta’s approach to Beijing. For more on how Jokowi might actually approach his second term, see my new CFR Article

More on:

Southeast Asia

Indonesia

Democracy

Elections and Voting

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