Indonesia’s Elections: Anticipating a Photo-Finish

Strategic Communications

July 3, 2014

For the first time in ten years, the people of Indonesia will be hitting the polls on 9 July to elect a new President. This landmark election comes at a pivotal time for the country, which has been on the precipice between economic growth and failure. In the first of a two-part series on the elections, we provide an overview of the candidates, their Presidential vision and the expected impact each party could have for businesses in Indonesia.

Changing of the Guard

The elections come at a pivotal point in the nation’s development and for their part, the Indonesian people are looking to elect a new leader who can usher in an era of stability and growth, tackle corruption and narrow the gap between rich and poor. Meanwhile, foreign investors are increasingly concerned by the protectionist rhetoric peppering the speeches and pledges of both candidates.

With one a man of the people and the other a former military general, the two candidates have taken very similar approaches to winning over the populace. Despite contrasting backgrounds, each has adopted a nationalistic stance and likewise taken an economic approach that promotes protectionist policies to safeguard Indonesia’s interests, all while criticising incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) for having sold the country out to foreign business interests.

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