As 4.4 million Jakartans went to the polls to vote for the governor of Indonesia’s capital city on July 11, I needed only to step out my front door to experience the pervasive influence money has on politics here. The first campaigner I spoke to on election day told me about the envelopes of cash he had distributed to voters the night before. His concern was not of corrupting the process, but rather that another campaign was paying three times as much. Gubernatorial elections in Indonesia’s vast capital are a big deal, involving 7 million registered voters and 15,000 voting booths across the city.
The Jakarta gubernatorial election on July 11 was arguably Indonesia’s single most important ballot before the 2014 presidential polls. With high stakes for the parties jockeying for a win, the race saw political heavyweights vying for the attention of the city’s 7 million voters.
A fortnight ago I blogged about the energy for peace I found at two very different events in Mindanao. We might now ask: what is the origin of that energy, and of the general surge toward a peace agreement? At first glance, this may seem to have an obvious answer, since it is clear from citizen surveys…
Still recovering from the effects of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009, Sri Lanka is now seeing hopeful signs that one of its deepest wounds – the relationship between the police and the community – is improving. During the war, police were often preoccupied with counter-insurgency and national security.
Nearly 19 years after the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) at the 26th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore in July 1993, the ARF just embarked on its first concrete elections mission, to observe the July 7 parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste.