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Posts Tagged ‘SBY’

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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Indonesia: Where VPs Matter

Debates among Indonesia’s vice presidential candidates will be held tonight, and many are hoping that they will be more substantial than last Thursday’s presidential debates, which the Jakarta Post called an exercise in “insipid lip service.” Of the presidential debates, Singapore Institute of Internal Affairs reported,

The first televised debate between the presidential candidates… was a disappointing moment for audiences and pundits alike, as the 3 candidates failed to engage in significant debate about the substantive issues that face Indonesia, the caliber of the candidates or the substance of their electoral platforms.

The outcome of the first debate is likely to play in Yudhoyono’s favour, who currently leads the other presidential candidates in the polls, and whose party won the general elections that just passed with a wide margin. If the other presidential candidates and their running partners fail to use the following televised debates to distinguish their electoral platforms, Yudhoyono’s current popularity will be undiminished.

Given the popular failing of the presidential debates, candidates have also been conducting grassroots campaigns, appealing to farmers, business men…and journalists. The Jakarta Post reports,

Under the contract, Megawati agreed that, if she and her running mate, Prabowo Subianto, were elected in the election on July 8, her administration would ensure adequate provisions of fertilizer and irrigation water were made available for rice paddy fields. Agriculture is one of the Megawati ticket’s top development priorities.

… [Incumbent] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also promised local businesspeople that, if re-elected, he would simplify the procedure for obtaining business licenses.

Before his speech, SBY bought fish from local fishermen as part of a meet and greet with fishing communities along Padang’s west coast.

While SBY and Megawati worked hard to convince the grassroots they are worth their salt, presidential hopeful Jusuf Kalla worked a room comprised of an entirely different echelon of society, discussing the importance of a free press with thousands of journalists in Jakarta.

Generals Prabowo Subianto and Wiranto and former central back governor Boediono will debate on issues of national identity tonight.

— Tina Carter, Trinity ’10