Organized Panel Session
In recent years, Indonesia has witnessed the emergence of large-scale, right-wing, ethno-religious movements. Nevertheless, much less clear is the assessment of the source of decay within the young Indonesian democracy? The proposed panel wants to discuss the rise of populism from the perspective of the 2019 Presidential Election. There are three central premises of this panel. First, the constitutional reform that took place in Indonesia from 1999 – 2002, has produced a mere rule law of the constitution, which has been “liberalized” in the sense of adding individual rights. The “liberalized” constitution with the notion of equality and pluralism is an implicit rejection of an Islamic state or a state with enhanced religious authority. Second, twenty years after the fall of the New Order regime, the progressive movement, including political parties and NGOs, has still not made itself present in the country. The current electoral system offers no choice other than some political parties that politically represented the capitalist class. Under these circumstances, the right-wing group comes to fill the void and provide an alternative option. Third, the Indonesian Constitutional Court has failed to produce a constitutional form of resistance against populist pressures. The Court has been unable to make socioeconomic equality central to its jurisprudence or to increase popular participation in political decision making. Moreover, the Court was condoning an electoral system that offers no real choice, by reaffirming the presidential election system that requires coalition partners to push over the electoral threshold.