A long period of ideological vacuum in mainstream politics came to an end in the
lead-up to the 2014 presidential elections and was further confirmed in the 2017
Jakarta gubernatorial elections.
This was initially reflected in the different stances of 2014 presidential candidates
Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto on issues such as the direct election of the
president and regional heads, and was a reflection of support or opposition to the
political liberalisation that has occurred since reformasi.
Since the 2014 presidential elections, opposition to political liberalisation has shifted
towards the adoption of religious ideology.
The weak defence of political liberalisation by President Widodo is manifested in
his policy of making concessions to both sides within the framework of the state
The outcomes at the grassroots level of Widodo’s economic policies will heavily
influence the evolution of this new ideological contestation.