Coerced powersharing?Jokowi, Partai Demokrat and the shrinking of Indonesia's opposition

Crawford School of Public Policy
Photo by Paul Morigi on Flickr

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 14 April 2021


McDonald Room, Menzies Library entry level, RG Menzies Building #2, ANU


Marcus Mietzner (ANU)


ANU Indonesia Project

In much of the literature on broad multi-party coalitions in presidential systems, it is assumed that parties naturally seek alignment with presidents in order to gain access to state resources. Indeed, a sub-stream of that literature has been the cartelisation school, which views party cartels as dominant actors that control and use presidents as their entry points to share power and budgets. But Indonesian president Jokowi has defied this model in important ways: in two cases in 2015 and 2016, he used his power as president to turn opposition parties into pro-government parties, allowing him to transform from a minority president into one holding a supermajority. But apparently controlling 82 percent of parliamentary seats has not been enough for Jokowi: in March 2021, Jokowi’s chief of staff claimed to have taken over the leadership of Partai Demokrat, one of only two remaining opposition parties. Should this take-over succeed, Jokowi would control 91 percent of seats in the legislature. This seminar explains the mechanisms through which Jokowi has exercised his coercive power to ‘flip’ Indonesian opposition parties and speculates what his ultimate goal might be.

Following ANU COVID-safe plan, registration prior to attending this event is required.

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