The Indonesian Elections 2019: A Preview


About the Seminar

On 17 April 2019, Indonesians will vote in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. In one of the most complicated elections in the world, voters will be electing the president and vice-president, and four different levels of legislative representatives. Each voter will have to choose from approximately five hundred names in five separate ballots.

This seminar provides a preview of the elections, assessing the standing of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates Joko Widodo – Ma’ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto – Sandiaga Uno, as well as the various political parties. Three ISEAS researchers, Dr Budi Irawanto, Dr Najib Burhani and Mr Made Supriatma, will share their preliminary findings from fieldwork conducted in different regions of Indonesia, including East and Central Java, South Sumatra and Lampung. The seminar will give an overview that examines the strength of Indonesian democratic institutions amidst the rise of identity politics, the use of social media, and the potential role of the millennials. Attention will also be given to the role of Islam in Indonesian politics, especially how the major Islamic organisations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, position themselves.

About the Speakers

Budi Irawanto is Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.  He is also Associate Professor in communications at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia and president of the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival—a premier Asian film festival in Indonesia. He received his PhD from the National University of Singapore with a dissertation on the cultural politics of contemporary cinema in Indonesia and Malaysia. During his fellowship at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, he is conducting research on the role of social media in Indonesia’s elections and preparing a book manuscript based on his dissertation.

Ahmad Najib Burhani
is senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta and Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara, USA. During the last year of his study, he won the Professor Charles Wendell Memorial Award from UCSB for academic achievement in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. His academic interests include religious minorities in Islam, urban mysticism, and religious movements in Southeast Asia.

Made Supriatma
is Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Studies Programme, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. He was the former editor of JoyoNews, an Indonesian news service for English-speaking subscribers. His research is mostly on military politics, ethnic conflicts and violence, and Indonesian politics. He is currently finishing his PhD with the Department of Government, Cornell University.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 12 April 2019.


Apr 15 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2