Elections in Indonesia 2004

The Indonesia Programme at the NCHR invites to a seminar on the approaching elections in Indonesia.

Time: Thursday, 18 March 2004, 12.30-15.30

Venue: NCHR, Universitetsgt. 22-24, seminar room 4th floor (call reception 3rd floor)


Indonesia faces at least two and probably three national elections in 2004. The General Election will take place on 5 April and will fill almost 16 000 seats in legislatures at the national, provincial and district levels. The second election, on 5 July, will be the first direct presidential vote in Indonesian history. As it is almost certain that no candidate will meet the criteria needed in order to be declared winner of the first round, a run-off between the top two candidates is likely to take place on September 20. The entire process must be completed before President Megawati's term expires on 20 October.

The seminar will seek to address the role and strength of the Islamic parties and the religious dimension of Indonesian politics, and provide an overview of the main political parties contending in the national elections. In addition, there will be focus on some of the (pro-democratic) actors not participating in the elections and on whether the elections are likely to bring fundamental change to Indonesian politics. There will also be time for questions and comments.

William Liddle is Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and a specialist on Southeast Asian, especially Indonesian, politics. He has conducted research in Indonesia on many occasions since the early 1960s, and has been a Fulbright researcher and lecturer in both Indonesia and Singapore. He writes for the international and Indonesian media, including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal and Asian Wall Street Journal, Far Eastern Economic Review, Jakarta dailies Kompas and Republika and the national Indonesian newsweekly Tempo. Professor Liddle has recently published an article on the 2004 elections entitled "Indonesia's Approaching Elections: Politics, Islam, and Public Opinion", in the Journal of Democracy 15:1 (January 2004).

Olle Törnquist is Professor of Politics and Development, Department of Political Science and the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo. He is currently conducting a research project on assessing and supporting democratisation in Indonesia in cooperation with the Indonesian Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, DEMOS. The research team has recently published the book Indonesia's Post- Suharto Democracy Movement.

Knut D. Asplund is Programme Director of the Indonesia Programme at NCHR. The Indonesia Programme has been running since 2002 and focuses its activities in the fields of human rights education, administration of justice, human rights and conflict, and democracy and the right to participation.