Indonesia: Central Bank Chief, the next VP?

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) is set to announce the Central Bank chief Boediono as his running mate in a couple of days.

Indonesians are divided with the candidacy of Boediono. Some cheered at the decision, but the president's decision is unpopular among some parties who priorly bid coalition with Yudhoyono's Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat – PD [id]).

Ahead of the presidential election, four parties, namely the National Mandate Party (PAN), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), United Development Party (PPP), and the National Awakening Party (PKB) are preparing to have coalition with PD. The plan is now in jeapordy, as parties’ officials threatened to pull out from the coalition if SBY goes ahead confirming Boediono's candidacy.

Speaking to local English newspaper the Jakarta Post, PD deputy chairman Andi Mallarangeng said that since the begining, coalition parties had agreed to practice his executive right to choose his VP.

Former Chief Presidential Spokesman Wimar Witoelar, on his Perspektif blog said that Boediono's candidacy could be a sign that the country is actually reforming its political system.

The choice of Boediono as vice presidential candidate on the SBY ticket could awaken middle-class moderates to the fact that they are a real factor in the direction of the nation. […] The results of the parliamentary elections allay fears of fundamentalism as the secular parties outnumber the sectarian by a wide margin.


The nice thing about political predictions is that you do not have to argue against them. If you don’t like pessimistic outlooks, just make sure they do not come true. Otherwise they become self-fulfilling prophecies.


Although Indonesian voters time and again vote for secular parties, the PKS keeps inching forward while Golkar and PDIP keep receding. My own thoughts are more optimistic..The choice of Boediono as vice presidential candidate may be seen as a signal that SBY is closing ranks with the secularists. Remember that while SBY-JK has been weak against the anti-pornography bill and other pet issues of the Islamist right, PDIP has been strong and consistent in defense of pluralism and secularism.


The choice of a non-party clean person will help strengthen the true base against sectarianism, the middle class moderates.

Arya, wrote a posting on Politikana, one of Indonesian political platforms, saying that as non-partisan, Boediono has a strategic meaning to PD. He elaborates [id]:

Status Boediono sebagai orang non-partai politik (setidaknya saat ini) memiliki arti strategis bagi PD. Karena nantinya, tidak akan ada satu pun partai yang bisa mengklaim kinerja pemerintah periode 2009-2014 sebagai hasil kerja mereka.

Seperti kita tahu, posisi seorang incumbent sangat berpengaruh ketika seseorang atau sebuah partai mengikuti pemilu berikutnya. Dengan segenap keuntungannya, seorang incumbent sudah satu atau dua langkah di depan dibanding rival yang berasal dari ‘luar’.

Coba bayangkan kalau misalnya Wapres SBY adalah Hidayat Nur Wahid atau Hatta Rajasa? Pasti nanti PKS dan PAN akan dengan mudah mengklaim hasil kerja SBY seolah-olah jadi hasil kerja mereka dan hal itu bakal jadi jualan utama di Pilpres 2014.

Malah bisa jadi, di tengah jalan Boediono yang non-partisan itu bakal disuruh ‘pindah agama’ menjadi seorang kader PD. Hnah!

Boediono's status as a non-partisan (at least for now) has a strategic meaning for PD. So later on, no party could claim the hard work of 2009-2014 administration as their own.

As we all know, an incumbent's position has a big influence when someone or a party submit itself to the next election. With all this benefits, an incumbent is already one or two steps ahead of his “outsider” (party member) rivals.

Can you imagine if the new SBY's VP is either Nur Wahid or Hatta Rajasa? What would happen is that PKS and PAN will easily claim SBY's work as if it was their own and this could be their strong points in selling their agendas for the 2014 presidential election.

What we can expect to happen in the future, (is that) the non-partisan Boediono, could convert into PD party member. Voila!

Blogger Fawwaz Akmal feels that SBY and PD's fear is absurd. Fawwaz argues that in 2014 SBY can't be re-elected for the third time, and he's also sure that the  global economic downturn is the main reason why Boediono was chosen to be the running mate. Fawwaz says:

Setahuku, Boediono adalah ahli ekonomi makro yang tidak mengerti masalah ekonomi real di masyarakat. Padahal, berulang kali para pakar ekonomi Indonesia maupun dunia mengatakan bahwa untuk membentengi krisis global, sebuah negara mesti memperkuat ekonomi realnya, mikro.

As far as I know, Boediono is a macroeconomics expert, who knows little about the real economic concern in Indonesia. In fact, many Indonesian and international economic experts have said that the way to protect the country from the global economic crisis, a country needs to strengthen its Real economy, (which means) the microeconomics.

Facebooker Andy Armansyah wonders who fit to be the people's president and vice president, he says:


Tempointeraktif News said the Market gives a positive response to SBY-Boediono duo, this means that (SBY) is the market's president then.. (the fact is that) the market is ruled by wealthy minority, so who are the people's president-vice president candidates.. you????

Indonesia holds multi-party system. In 2004,  Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became Indonesia's first directly elected president. Yudhoyono, the retired singing General has managed to improve the country's economic growth.


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