🇮🇩 We've got two winners

Are big reforms ahead after deaths and injuries during the process?

Hello friends!

I’m going to wind up the Indonesian election coverage super soon BUT! I’m going to continue this side-project as an Asean elections newsletter. We’ll still look at Indonesia for a few more weeks yet, but alongside coverage of the Philippines midterms from next week. And then who is next? Maybe Singapore!

For a deeper look at all of Asean sign up to Dari Mulut ke Mulut here.

See you soon!
Erin Cook

Okay, so here’s where we’re at. As largely expected, Jokowi-Ma’ruf won the quick count and the Prabowo-Sandiaga camp are disputing results. The official count is slowly coming through and is largely in line with what the quick counts showed. My understanding of what happens now is there’s a little argy-bargy which will die down in the next few weeks, the opposition could launch a challenge in the Constitutional Court but it will likely be struck down and Jokowi will be inaugurated for round two in October.

The dispute is the interesting thing here. Accusations of fraud and corruption within the polling agencies and the two electoral agencies are flying but don’t really have much veracity. Still, a handful of legitimate issues have given a touch of credibility to the complaints. As my co-host/pal Hayat said a few weeks back on our Indonesia dan Lain-Lain podcast the outliers are so minute in the grand scale that even if proved correct it will not have a major impact on results. For an electoral nerd like myself, I’m extremely impressed with how transparent the two agencies have been in addressing and investigating complaints. If anything it shows how robust the institutions are.

Demonstrations led by FPI and affiliated groups are failing to make much of a dent in the broad trust in results. Prabowo’s campaign team insist internal numbers show he’s picked up 60 percent of the vote, but until they’re willing to show the working it’s not going anywhere. The insistence of a win, though, is damaging the opposition and it’s very telling Sandiaga has backed away from some of the more incendiary claims in an effort to maintain his own reputation.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto has snapped over the accusations. “The allegation is very tendentious, slanderous, false and baseless, and it is intended to delegitimize the government and the election organizers,” he said today.

Community leaders are calling for Jokowi and Prabowo to meet to help calm tensions. A 212 horse ride, take two? Unlikely, I think.

Official results will be released May 22.


We need to talk about the deaths. Upwards of 100 officials, volunteers and police died on election day while women report miscarriages. Exhaustion and overwork has been blamed. I’m hesitant to jump in here and investigations have been promised so I’ll wait and see. I do think it’s interesting the decision to hold all elections concurrently is under review and it sounds like a wise move.


I love this whip around of smarties the Conversation does! Here’s a load of experts talking about what a returned Jokowi means for human rights. Pours some cold water on that ‘he can’t be re-elected so he’ll start swinging now’ thing. Phew, when has that literally ever happened anywhere?


This from Foreign Affairs is a handy one of the ‘these are the bones of it’ genre. It also looks quite closely at the what the impact will be on relations with the US, particularly in defence. It does call Indomaret the ‘Indonesian 7-Eleven’ which is incorrect, the answer is ‘a way of life.’  


Endy Bayuni, one of Jakarta’s most prominent veteran journalists, volunteered to help run his local voting booth. This is an interesting read that gives some insight into what goes on behind the scenes. He also seems upset but not too surprised to hear other employees and volunteers died during the process. Endy also points out the irritating little incidents which seem like they could be easily resolved but left voters unable to have their say.

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