DPG Policy Brief

Indonesia’s 2024 Elections

Date: December 07, 2023
Indonesia is gearing up for its largest single-day election on February 14, 2024, when it will elect its President, Vice President and almost 20,000 representatives to the national and provincial governments.  This election in the world’s third-largest democracy, straddling strategic waterways, will have a significant impact on the geopolitical climate in South East Asia, and in the wider Indo-Pacific.

In this brief, the author examines the foreign policy positions of the three candidates to replace the outgoing President Joko Widodo – Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan.

Drawing upon their respective policy pronouncements, the author suggests that Prabowo is most likely to continue the foreign policy of Widodo, leaning on domestic prosperity to establish a more robust global presence, while continuing the tradition of an independent foreign policy.

Ganjar (and his running mate Mahfud) on their part also have extensive experience in national and global issues. They have pledged that while maintaining a free and active foreign policy and re-prioritising Indonesia’s strengths, they might also pursue diplomatic initiatives to reduce disparities in the international system.

The author then examines the foreign policy platform of Anies, who has been vocal about changing Indonesia’s ‘transactional foreign policy’ in favour of a ‘values-based foreign policy’.  He can thus be expected to be more vocal about upholding core principles of international law.

The author points out that there are divergences between the three candidates in the fray on their respective approaches towards China, with Prabowo being more positively inclined than Ganjar and Anies.  As the 75-day election campaign began on November 28, all eyes will remain on Indonesia in search of clarity regarding its future strategic posture.

Finally, this brief also outlines the results of current public opinion surveys regarding levels of support for the three candidates.

To read this Policy Brief Vol. VIII, Issue 29, please see the PDF