We have a new President!
In case you haven't heard, it has been announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU
) that General (ret.) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Ph.D
and his running mate Jusuf Kalla won the Indonesian presidential election run-off with 69,266,350 votes, or 60.68 percent of the total valid votes, compared to incumbent Megawati Soekarnoputri and partner Hasyim Muzadi's 39.38 percent.
Neither side is prepared to actually say "ya boo, sucks" or, in the case of Mega, "fuck it" because they have until the end of the week to appeal the result to the Constitutional Court. Apparently, the Court can only find two irregularities, although the Mega camp doesn't accept the results from West Java where nearly 21 million votes were cast. That SBY has a lead of 20 million votes overall means, I feel, that the Mega doesn't stand an earthly and she's a dog in the manger
. (Could someone translate this idiom into bahasa
for her, please?)
There were 2,405,651 spoiled ballot papers, an astonishing 2.1%, with around 35 million, approximately 23%, of the electorate not exercising their voting rights. Whether that was due to cynicism or sickness, I wouldn't venture to say. Compared to other countries, there was an astonishing high turnout.
SBY has a daunting task
; he needs to revive the economy, increase employment prospects and move to eradicate corruption. It is encouraging to see SBY
talking about reconciliation: Tema besar kita masih tetap sama, rekonsiliasi. Saya menginginkan seluruh rakyat Indonesia melakukan rekonsiliasi. Kita bersatu kembali. Tantangan bangsa ke depan, harus kita hadapi bersama-sama,
Most will, quite rightly, applaud a successful democratic exercise. Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda, in an address
to the U.N. General Assembly last week, said, "... we are proud of this democracy of ours. It is the fulfilment of a universal human aspiration, and yet it is unique to us. It sprang from our native soil, a true child of our culture. It was not imposed from outside, at gunpoint. And it put to rest the debate on whether Islam and democracy can ever mix.
"As the country with the largest Muslim population, Indonesia has proven that Islam can be a bastion of democracy and social justice. Indeed, our deep sense of spirituality inspired our people to resoundingly reject money politics, corruption, terrorism and all forms of extremism. It was also our beacon toward reform.
Now for some headlines from today's Jakarta Post.
Cirebon mayor faces poll bias trial
Dumai mayor named suspect in logging scam
Residents take law into own hands
Tempo receives bomb threat
There is a long way to go, but an interesting journey has begun.
I'm glad I'm staying here.