The 2014 Presidential election is done. As many had predicted, Jokowi won the presidential race. However, this was not an easy battle for the victor as the prediction said. If anything, it’s a really well-matched mano y mano competition. Jokowi only won with a slight margin of 5%, which roughly translated to 7 million voters. Some sources even said that if the election was to be held in weeks or 1 month later, the tide could easily turn to Prabowo’s favor.
Nevertheless, none of that matters. Vox populi, vox Dei, they said, and behold, now we have a new president! Salute, Mr. Jokowi!
What does it mean for the economy?
The market responds positively toward the news. Not surprisingly. The survey conducted by Deutsche Bank had shown that 74 % of respondents (comprising foreign investors) will decide to buy Indonesian assets if he’s elected. On the contrary, no less than 54% of respondents would dump any of Indonesian assets they have if Prabowo was elected.
Although such poll can not be regarded as representing the real situation, it’s a clear indicator on how the market will react under Jokowi’s administration. It shows that beyond the national scope, people do believe that this guy can really bring something to the table for Indonesia. Finally, a leader who can clearly distinct himself from the past corrupt regimes, a person with no ties to previous political and military elites; someone who is perceived as a real action-oriented, pro-the people reformer, who prefer, and have guts, to make real change instead of another political rhetoric. Those are Jokowi’s leadership in a nutshell.
Someone that can move the market positively just for being elected is definitely more than capable of doing the same with his policies.
However, winning an election is one thing, but to establish a strong, clean and successful administration is quite another. For that, Jokowi needs to surround himself with not only capable figures as ministers and presidential staffs but also those who have like-minded passion and will. Many also hope that Jokowi will bring an end to the practice of dividing the proverbial power cake to political parties representatives that helped his campaign.
Indonesia in the Next Five Years
I cannot even predict Sunday from Saturday, so I won’t go there words by words. What I can say is that, given his policies while leading Solo and then Jakarta as governor, he’s likely to pursue the same efficiency, seek for rearrangement and pass breaking-through policies. He’s likely to overhaul the bureaucracy, the clogged up and down-right corrupt alike. Those, as you may know really well, is half of anything that have went wrong with Indonesia from the start.
These won’t go without resistance. For that I’m sure. So, it’s likely that 2 years of his administration will resemble a power struggle. The parties that backed his rival, Prabowo, (all of which, curiously have one or more reps involved in graft allegations on a number of cases) made a political pact in the House. This is something that Jokowi has to treat with caution. These parties can gang up–and they will–to elude and undermine everything Jokowi tries to do as president. On the bright side, the said coalition is not as solid as they said and believed to be. No doubt, losing presidential race is detrimental to its unity. Even as I write this, it has started to crack. The opportunists of those coalition have eyed impatiently for an opening to jump ship.
Is There Something to Worry About?
Economically, politically, nationally and internationally, Indonesia will be in good hands in the next 5 years. I know, this sounds very optimistic, but there’s no reason to feel otherwise. It’s time to improve Indonesia, and this one person has the full support of the people to do just that.
Unless you are a member of the old guards (corrupt, anti-changes, intolerant) there’s nothing to worry about. The people have spoken. Improving Indonesia has no better time than now.
Pic Source: Google (Jokowi during his rally campaign)