On or around 22 July, the Indonesian Presidential election winner will be officially announced. Initial polls and pundits say Jokowi will win but Prabowo is also claiming victory. It's likely Prabowo will appeal to the Courts and a period of increased uncertainty and turmoil may begin in Indonesia.
Bob Lowry in The Strategist, The Jokowi Presidency on some of the key challenges facing Joko - not least what to do with both Jusuf Kalla & Prabowo:
"The anticipated election of Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) is a John Fitzgerald Kennedy moment in Indonesian history—a change of generations and a herald of hope that Indonesia can take a great leap forward in reforming its sclerotic state apparatus and unshackling its economy."
"The closeness of the vote demonstrates that there were considerable doubts about Jokowi’s readiness for the presidency so he’ll need to move quickly on forming his cabinet, creating a workable parliamentary coalition, and use executive powers to set his program in motion. He’s unlikely to be challenged in the way Kennedy was over Cuba but he could find some of his domestic opponents and vested interests just as tough."
A more pessimistic tone is taken by Ed Aspinall & Marcus Mietzner in New Mandala, Prabowo's Game Plan:
"...the confusion is part of Prabowo Subianto’s strategy to steal the election, a strategy that evidently has been long in the making. Reportedly, one of Prabowo’s chief campaign strategists, Rob Allyn, has been known not only for his expertise in negative campaigning but also for producing surveys which create the impression that an electorally weak candidate is competitive, and using the subsequent confusion among the electorate to manoeuvre this candidate into a more favourable position. Allyn has been known for this strategy in Mexican elections. It seems Indonesia is fertile ground for the same method."
"We think that it is likely that Prabowo will fail in his efforts. The scale of Jokowi’s victory is such that too many votes would need to be shifted to Prabowo’s side of the ledger in order to steal the result. However, we cannot be fully confident about this prediction: what we know about Prabowo’s ruthlessness, past experiences of widespread fraud in vote counting, the weakness of the PDI-P’s monitoring apparatus, the strength of the Prabowo’s political networks in the regions, and the vast material resources they have at their disposal all suggest that the Prabowo camp will be able to make a concerted effort to overturn the result. Doing so, however, will not be easy. The scale of the manipulation required means it will be relatively easy to detect, and it will invite massive resistance from Jokowi’s supporters. A major escalation of political conflict is possible."
This is the start of a fascinating period in Indonesian history.
We'll be back in Jakarta from 25 July for Hari Raya Idul Fitri and it will be good to hear Papa Eko's experiences working for the KPU (National Electoral Commission).