Polls have closed across Indonesia and the count in the legislative elections is under way. As the experts crunch the numbers what do we know so far?
One thing seems to be certain; Joko Widodo’s popularity is shooting his Indonesian Democracy Party-Struggle to win a significant proportion of the vote. All our experts here at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific agree.
Another likely trend is the declining influence of Indonesia’s Islamist parties, who are set for their worst results ever. As Greg Fealy says, for many Indonesians, Islam doesn’t have the political answers they are looking for.
It has also been a colourful and controversial campaign – featuring former dangdut stars and models, pretty candidates transforming the ugly business of politics; ‘donut politics’; the paranormal; and a giant Garuda puppet championing the causes of Prabowo’s Gerindra Party.
Karl Marx’s ‘opiate of the masses’, football, has reared its ugly head, as have the usual conspiracy theories and whispers of a coup – which as Jacqui Baker writes, seems to be the only real chance for SBY’s Demokrats.
And for those who can’t win a ticket into the national parliament, the costs are bound to be high – not just financially but mentally, as Eve Warburton writes.
As we dash for the finish line in the first of Indonesia’s two elections, with the Presidential set for later in July, make sure you stay tuned to New Mandala for the best insight and commentary as results came to hand.