Holy crap there’s an election going on in Indonesia? Forgot about that, what with all the blood being spilled north of the equator heavily occupying our attention. Not without reason of course. Yes, we’re all impressed by Australia’s quick diplomatic leadership in securing UN Security Council resolution in just four days, and yes the results of the election have been agreed upon by everyone except the loser since the actual vote on July 9th, but with Indonesia’s growing prominence in Australia’s consideration (less Geneva more Jakarta anyone?) you’d think there’d be a bit more attention being paid to what’s going on in one of our largest, closest neighbours.
Anyway, the votes are being counted and it looks like it’ll be called in favour Joko Widodo (‘Jokowi’), the softly spoken, uncorrupted (comparatively speaking), administratively talented (apparently) governor of Jakarta by a healthy 6 point margin over Prabowo Subianto, the former army general with a sketchy history with human rights, a court and coalition corruption allegations and investigations, and a desire to fall back on the 1945 constitution that allowed strongman dictator Suharto to take and keep power. So a win for democracy and Indonesia (and God knows they could use a win). There is the issue that Prabowo, who doesn’t seem to know when to quit, could try and take his case to the nation’s Constitutional Court or incite a bit of rioting on the streets, but both of those are unlikely to change the results.
Here’s hoping Joko is capable of repairing some of the problems of emerging Indonesia, and hoping he and Mr Abbot or whoever is running the joint down in Canberra get along.