The 2014 Elections and Dynamics of Change

The 2014 Elections and Dynamics
of Change
James Van Zorge
AIC March 2014
The 2014 elections and dynamics of change
The Oligarchs
An entrenched elite
controlling political
parties has been
behind the setting
of high barriers-toentry for
candidates through
electoral laws.
A New Voter
1/3 of electorate (60m people) are
first-time participants in 2014 - not
loyal to any political party. Requires
new ways to reach out.
The Jokowi Factor
Huge surprise from Joko
Widodo’ victory to be
Jakarta governer, served
as a wake-up call for the
major political parties. A
new figure with a
common touch and
strong connection with
the broad masses
Apparent candidates: PDI-P’s Joko
Widodo, Golkar Aburizal Bakrie,
Gerindra’s Prabowo Subianto. A
Jokowi’s victory would signal the
beginning of change in Indonesian
Dynamics of Change
The 2014 elections and dynamics of change
The Big Questions
Critical challenges for Joko Widodo or “Jokowi”, the front runner
− How to maintain popular appeal. Jokowi’s opponent will be using all means to attack
his image as an effective and clean leader.
− Who would be the ideal coalition partners. The choice of coalition partners needs to
be strategic to guarantee victory.
− Who is the right running mate. The choice of VP for PDI-P will influence voter
Tough challenges faced by Prabowo Subianto, currently pooling second
− How to pass the threshold. First, a vote for Gerindra party is a vote for his presidency;
and second, finding willing and capable coalition partners.
− Getting the ‘right’ running mate. To find the one that can compensate for his
weaknesses and connect with the electorate.
Aburizal Bakrie, the least popular candidate
− Victory is not the point. He probably knows he can’t win, but his main objective is to
remain as chairman of Golkar and therefore retain his political influence (and protect his
business empire).
The 2014 elections and dynamics of change
Scenarios and their implications
The oligarchy continues
Very low probability
 Prabowo Subianto fails to qualify
as a presidential candidate.
 PDI-P performs way below
 Unlikely pairing of Aburizal Bakrie
as running mate for Joko Widodo.
 Joko Widodo would be
surrounded by a cabinet not of
his making and VP at complete
odds with his agenda
 Worst-case scenario for
Indonesia, a replay of the old
school money politics and
rampant corruption
The 2014 elections and dynamics of change
Scenarios and their implications
The general rises
Medium-low probability
 Gerindra party secures >10% in
parliamentary election
 Prabowo’s presidency would mark
a departure in style from his
 PDI-P performs less than
expected in parliamentary
 Rumors and/or news that taint
Jokowi’s reputation
 Risk of Prabowo’s ‘second-class
temperament’ to be a strong liability
and harm his prestige within elite
circles and public
 Would not expect Prabowo’s
policies to be radically different
from his predecessors
The 2014 elections and dynamics of change
Scenarios and their implications
A new beginning
High probability
 Joko Widodo is able to pick a
credible running mate
 Prabowo and Bakrie continue to
poll significantly below Joko
 The presidential elections (July
9) are decided in the first round.
 Joko Widodo would seem to bring
the greatest reform chance. But
Megawai will remain in control of
 Challenge on how Joko Widodo
deals with a anti-reform minded
 Another challenge on how to deal
with local governments

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