Officially: Republik Indonesia.
Seat of government: Jakarta.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The parliament (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat) comprises the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, elected in multi-member geographical constituencies modified by proportional representation, and the Dewan Perwakilan Daerah, which has four members elected in each province and limited powers.
Heads of government: Joko Widodo, PDI-P, president (since 2014); Jusuf Kalla, Golkar, vice president.
Parliamentary parties: Partai Demokrasi Indonesia – Perjuangan, led by Megawati Sukarnoputri; Sekretariat Bersama Golongan Karya (Golkar), led by Aburizal Bakrie; Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra), led by Prabowo Subianto and Suhardi; Partai Demokrat, led by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; Partai Amanat Nasional, led by Hatta Rajasa; Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa, led by Muhaimin Iskandar; Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, led by Anis Matta; Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, led by Suryadharma Ali; Partai Nasional Demokrat (Nasdem), led by Surya Paloh; Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura), led by Wiranto.
Parliamentary majority coalition: Koalisi Merah Putih (Golkar, Gerindra, PD, PAN, PKS).
Parliamentary opposition coalition: Koalisi Indonesia Hebat (PDI-P, PKB, PPP, Nasdem, Hanura).
Assessment: Still defined by the long, autocratic reigns of Sukarno (1945-67) and Suharto and the military (1967-98). The former ruling party of Suharto, Golkar, is a major party; another major party, PDI-P, is led by Sukarno’s daughter Megawati, who has also been president (2001-4). A graft trial against Suharto was dismissed, meaning that, like Augusto Pinochet, he was excused for mental incompetence almost immediately after leaving power; he has since died and will therefore never face trial, and it is unlikely that the state will recover the $45 billion he looted from the country. Military and socially-privileged figures dominate politics; Jokowi is the primary exception, but his route to power, direct election to a regional post, was abolished even as he won the presidency. The other greatest problem is the suppression of the desire for minority self-determination, as practiced by the colonial and post-colonial régimes; this led to the 2003 invasion of Acheh to defeat the separatist Gerakan Acheh Merdeka. Acheh was reincorporated, partially because of the invasion and partially because of fallout from the 2004 Asian 津波 « tu-nami », which originated near Acheh. The GAM has reportedly disarmed fully under an autonomy plan which provides for local control of fossil-fuel resources. After Suharto, presidents were elected by parliament until 2004, when Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004-14) became the first directly-elected president. 2009 parliamentary elections led to a strong plurality for the PD, created to support SBY, followed by Golkar and PDI-P. A presidential election held later in 2009 saw SBY reelected, though Megawati, who finished second, disputed the result. In 2014, Jokowi won the presidency, standing for PDI-P, Nasdem, and Hanura.
FH: 2-3, free. Econ: 6.34 (69), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2014 October 20.