On Wednesday, Indonesians go to the polls in the first round of presidential elections. The big (maybe only) question is whether serving President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyno (SBY) will win an outright majority of the votes or whether a second round will be needed. At the moment, it looks like only one round may be required. If so, it will be testament to SBY’s political nous.
While this presidential election may be easy to call and feature many of the same faces as the 2004 elections, the 2014 election promises something else. By then, if everything goes to plan, SBY will have served his second term and will step off the public political scene. Many of his present opponents (Wiranto, Megawati, Gus Dur, etc) may follow suit. Marcus Mietzner’s recent paper on Indonesian democratisation for the Lowy Institute offers a look into the next generation of national political leaders in Indonesia and how the fortunes of the major political parties may shift with this impending generational change.
While the election on Wednesday may lack the excitement of a close-run result or many new faces, 2014 promises to be more interesting.