5 Reasons Show Why Elections in Indonesia is Significant


Muslims around the World

  The Economist magazine has identified five reasons why these elections are crucial for the country. Indonesia has the potential to become one of the most influential countries in Asia, but its current president, Joko Widodo, has followed a tradition of non-alignment in foreign policy and closed policies.

The Candidates

The third largest democracy in the world will vote on February 14 to choose a new leader. According to opinion polls, the preferred candidate is former General Prabowo Subianto, who has a troubling record in human rights. The other two candidates, Anis Baswedan and Ganjar Prano, are trailing behind him.

First Reason: Space

Indonesia is a massive country with thousands of islands. If you were to draw a map of the country, it would stretch from Ireland to Turkmenistan! This vast size has encouraged the growth of digital services, and the capital city, Jakarta, has become a hub for new technology companies in Southeast Asia. Almost four-fifths of Indonesians own smartphones, connecting the country like never before.

Second Reason: Infrastructure and Demographics

The current president, Jokowi, has been known for his focus on infrastructure development. He has built airports, ports, dams, and hundreds of kilometers of toll roads. Indonesia's demographics also play a crucial role. With a population of about 276 million people, it is the fourth largest country in the world. A quarter of the population is under the age of 15, making it a huge consumer market.

Third Reason: Strong Economy

Indonesia has been one of the best-performing economies in the world. Although the promised 7% annual economic growth was not achieved, it is still the sixth largest emerging market in terms of GDP. Its GDP per capita is higher than that of India and Vietnam. If Indonesia continues on this path, it could become one of the top 10 largest economies in the world.

Fourth Reason: Green Goods

Indonesia's economy heavily relies on commodities. It is a major producer of nickel, which is used in electric car batteries. In fact, Indonesia's nickel production surpasses that of the rest of the world. The country has the potential to become the fourth largest producer of green goods, such as renewable energy, by 2030. It aims to manufacture electric vehicle batteries with a capacity equivalent to global production in 2020.

Fifth Reason: Great Power Competition

Due to its location, size, and resources, Indonesia is becoming a major arena for great power competitions. Both America and China are investing in the country. However, the next Indonesian president may face challenges if tensions between China and America escalate. Additionally, policies that benefit certain sectors, like the energy industry, may have unintended consequences in other areas.

These elections are crucial for Indonesia's future. The country has the potential to become a major player in Asia and the world. The outcome of the elections will shape its path forward.

Source: Economist