Year of Elections: What you need to know about Indonesia’s politics and candidates

On February 14, 200 million people will go to the polls in the world’s largest single-day election

In this week’s episode of Year of Elections podcast series, host Sulaiman Hakemy looks at Indonesia, where 200 million eligible voters will go to the polls on February 14 in the world’s largest single-day election to choose a new president,, vice president and parliamentary and local representatives.

Indonesia, a nation of 280 million people, is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country and its third-largest democracy. With nearly half of its population under the age of 30, the country is brimming with potential. It is expected to be the planet’s sixth-largest economy in only three years’ time.

President Joko Widodo, who has put in place grand plans to move the country’s capital from cramped Jakarta to a new city on the island of Borneo, and pledged to make Indonesia a member of the OECD, will step down as his term comes to an end. Vying to take his place are a former military general, a one-time academic, and a former governor who is a self-styled “man of the people”.

We interview Monica Wihardja, who was formerly an economist for the World Bank in Jakarta and currently a visiting fellow at the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, and Sholto Byrnes, who is The National’s long-time East Asian affairs columnist.

Updated: February 29, 2024, 8:44 AM