INDONESIAN POLITICS IN 2007: THE PRESIDENCY, LOCAL ELECTIONS AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY
This article begins by reviewing the politics of the presidency, including the relationship between the president, the political parties and the House of Representatives (DPR). Referring to survey data, it analyses the dynamics of public support for President Yudhoyono, and takes a preliminary look at the 2009 presidential election. It also discusses the manoeuvring between Indonesia's two largest parties, Golkar and PDI-P, in the context of recent debates in the DPR concerning a package of draft political laws. Indonesia is undergoing continual reform with regard to local, as well as national, politics. The introduction of direct elections for heads of government at the local level is a major political development that may help accelerate democratic consolidation. Based on an examination of local election results, this article concludes that the advent of direct elections has fuelled the formation of unprecedented cross-ideological political alliances. It appears that the ideological polarisation of national politics is often no longer reflected in provincial and local politics.
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