Contending Rhetoric in Indonesia’s Presidential Elections: An Analysis by Max Lane

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 The policy content in the sharpening rhetorical contestation in Indonesia’s
presidential campaign remains shallow.
 The policy manifestos of both camps contain the usual generic promises of
economic and technological progress and social justice. However, the essential
difference between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto in the main thrust of their
campaign message is that of continuity versus change. Widodo asserts that his
policies have worked but he would continue to deliver improvements. In contrast,
Prabowo argues that Indonesia is headed for an existential crisis unless there is
urgent radical change.
 The coalition-building efforts for this election have manifested Widodo’s and
Prabowo’s contrasting leadership styles. Widodo seems more amenable to powersharing and has sought to embrace a wider spectrum of Indonesia’s fragmented
elites. In contrast, Prabowo seems to prefer a more centralised leadership approach,
and perhaps even a stricter style of governance reminiscent of the Soeharto era.
For full article read HERE  Published in ISEAS PERSPECTIVE, Singapore | 25 January 2019.

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