Episode 53: Strange Bedfellows, or How SBY Learned to Love Prabowo

In this episode, Stephanie’s finally back (and with #hottakes) as we talk about the looming deadline for political parties in Indonesia to register their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for next year’s election. As we’ve known for a long time now, the two presidential candidates are the incumbent Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, and his old rival from the 2014 presidential election, former military general Prabowo Subianto. What made the news recently is that former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, better known as SBY, has come out and endorsed Prabowo, becoming a part of his coalition and competing against Jokowi’s coalition, which is led by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri. We’ll unpack all the political drama and personal history that has spanned decades — certainly within our lifetimes — as we discuss the ramifications of SBY’s decision.

We’ll also talk about electability surveys, as well as the general tone of political discourse and conversation that will dominate talk of the presidential elections, in particular discussing Jokowi’s pro-people populism vs. Prabowo’s Islamic-conversative populism. Finally, as two Indonesians currently living abroad, we want to encourage all Indonesians — abroad or not — to remember to register to vote for next year’s election, which will be on 17 April 2019; and, of course, to vote on the day itself!

For Indonesians abroad, the deadline for registering to vote abroad is coming up soon! Here in America it’s the 14th of August; please check your local Indonesian embassy or the Panitia Pemilihan Luar Negeri (PPLN) for more information — PLEASE REGISTER! 

Note: this podcast was recorded on Sunday, 5th August 2018, before the deadline for registering presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Thanks for listening!

For those interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve provided links to resources as well as other recommended readings.
Contenders Shaping Up for 2019 Indonesian Presidential Election — courtesy of the Council on Foreign Relations
Prabowo-SBY meeting solidifies Gerindra-Dems coalition — courtesy of The Jakarta Post
There is distance between us, SBY says of relationship with Megawati — courtesy of The Jakarta Post
Jokowi’s coalition is ‘one step ahead’ of opposition — courtesy of The Jakarta Post
Political Review: Subianto to Alliances With SBY in 2019 Presidential Election? — reviewing Prabowo’s options, prior to the SBY endorsement
Kisah Prabowo dan SBY di Lembah Tidar — the history of Prabowo and SBY, from their days in the military
Commentary: Soeharto’s most likely successor? How about Prabowo? — courtesy of The Jakarta Post
A landslide victory for SBY: What next? — talking about SBY’s big-margin victory against Megawati in 2009
In pursuit of VP candidates for Indonesia’s election: experts share their views — courtesy of the Conversation
What the Jakarta election tells us about the 2019 presidential race — in particular, the role of race and religion in 2019
Islam’s Defining Role in Indonesia’s Presidency Race — courtesy of Today Online
Jurus Jokowi, Populisme Pragmatis — Jokowi’s Tactic, Pragmatic Populism
Ini Jadwal Pemilu 2019 Bagi WNI di Luar Negeri — The Presidential Election Voting Schedule for Indonesians Abroad