Backtracking on Reformasi

Translator

TEMPO

Editor

Laila Afifa

28 May 2021 10:10 WIB

President Joko Widodo (center), together with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin (left) and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil (right), gives a statement to journalists after reviewing the drive thru vaccination program at the Pajajaran Sports Hall, Bogor City, West Java, Friday, March 19, 2021. The President hopes that other regions will be able to imitate the drive thru vaccination model in Bogor City. ANTARA PHOTOS / Arif Firmansyah

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Jokowi administration sets back democracy in Indonesia. Civil freedoms and the eradication of corruption are under threat.

Indonesia's politics are now in reverse gear. After 23 years, the transition is now moving further away from consolidated democracy. Instead of completing postponed agenda, the administration of Presidnt Joko Widodo is eroding away the positive achivements pioneered since the beginning of the reformasi era. Indonesia began this reform era on May 21, 1998, when Preident Soeharto resigned after failing to overcome the monetary and political crisis. Initially Indonesia's political trnsition process was promising. In line with the demands of activists, the transition government under President B.J. Habibie freed the press, released political prisoners and organized a democratic election.

Under President Abdurrahman Wahid, the military lost its dominant political role. Then in the era of Mgawati Sukarnoputri, the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) agreed to establish the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). At the same time, a series of amendments to the 1945 Constitution strengthened the mechanism of checks and balancs between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The amended Constitution also reinforced guaranteed for citizen's fundamental rights.

However,the political transformation wasgenerally at the level of procedure, not substance. After a few periods of different presidents, the transition to democracy has stalled. The New Order regime may well have fallen, but the old actors are still ensconced. They have simply changed their party jackets of corporate logos. Meanwhile, the sickness ofcorruption has not been cured. Fortunately, Indonesia has the KPK which - in its golden age - swiftly dealt with corruptors.

Elected in the 2014 elections with the support of civil society, it was initially hope that Joko Widodo would restart the wheelsof democratic consolidation. But these expectations turned out to be far from reality. Coming from outside the old political elite, Jokowi's presidency has not been a ray of light.

In his second term, Jokowi has set back democracy. The political transition that had been stagnant has gone into reverse. Last year, Indonesia's democracy index was ranked at number 64 in the world. According to the Economist Intelligent Unit, Indonesia's score fell to 6.3, the lowest in the last 14 years. Indonesia even joined the category of flawed democracies, below Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste.

Civil freedoms in Indonesia are under threat.

Read the Complete Story in Tempo English Magazine 



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