Indonesia’s High-Stakes Handover

Issue Date April 2024
Volume 35
Issue 2
Page Numbers 40–51
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The man who has spent the past three decades doing more than anyone to deny Indonesians the right to elect their leaders has now been elected Indonesia’s leader. Riding the coattails and benefiting from the brazen interventions of Joko Widodo, the wildly popular outgoing president, Prabowo Subianto has completed his quarter-century-long political rehabilitation from Indonesia’s most notorious human-rights abuser to the world’s third-largest democracy’s commander-in-chief. The murky circumstances of Prabowo’s electoral landslide, combined with the likely prospect that he will rule effectively unopposed, seem certain to accelerate recent processes of democratic erosion in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

About the Author

Dan Slater is the James Orin Murfin Professor of Political Science and the director of the Center for Emerging Democracies at the International Institute at the University of Michigan.

View all work by Dan Slater

Image Credit: Agung Kuncahya B./Xinhua via Getty Images