Home > Indonesia > SBY Takes Landslide Victory

SBY Takes Landslide Victory

According to Voice of America, an international broadcasting service funded by the US government and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, unofficial results for the Indonesian presidential elections reveal a landslide victory for incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

As is typical of Indonesia, the opposition have made allegations of voter fraud, but the country’s analysts and the Foreign Correspondents Club in Jakarta expect the final count to corroborate independent surveys, which predicted a 60% win for SBY.

The Economist was less optimistic about these projections, citing SBY’s failure to deliver on the majority of his campaign promises. The article entitled “More of the Same,” claims the following:

Only a quarter of the measures he promised in 2004 to improve the investment climate have been implemented. Desperately needed infrastructure development has been sluggish. Legal and judicial reforms have been patchy. Little progress has been made on improving labour-market regulation. The armed forces are so under-financed that aircraft crashes have become a monthly occurrence.

Meanwhile official poverty and unemployment rates, at 14.2% and 8.2% respectively, are much higher than he promised when he was first elected. Health-service delivery is widely considered woeful. Religious minorities believe they are more fiercely persecuted than five years ago. Then there is the minor matter of the world’s worst recession in decades, which has taken its toll throughout South-East Asia’s export-oriented economies.

They attribute his victories to “luck and skill,” particularly his resurgent direct cash transfers to families, the his opponent’s poor campaigning, and the rather conciliatory nature of the democratic system.

Nevertheless, Yudhoyono’s first term has been a watershed administration in terms of its success of anti-corruption and a persistent growth rate of at least 4%. His re-election may bouy the national economy and the image of majority-Muslim nations.

Columnist and public-affairs show host Wimar Witoelar told VOA, “Now he can, together with our Barack Obama, build a new world on tolerance, on ethnic diversity and all the good things we have sought.”

If SBY is in fact a decisive a winner. There will not be a run-off election in September and SBY will greet President Obama when he arrives in Asia later this year.

— Tina Carter, Trinity ’10
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