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Jakarta Post

The new Indonesia: 67 million first-time voters in 2014

  • Ratih Hardjono

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 19 2012   /  09:43 am

With so much political jockeying going on among the elites in Jakarta ahead of the 2014 presidential election, the fact that 67 million first-time voters across the archipelago will be exercising their right to vote in 2014 has been largely overlooked. These young people did not experience reformasi or life during the New Order period, and probably only generally know that a man by the name of Soeharto led the country for a long period.

These first-time voters for 2014 were only small children when the reformasi movement took place in 1998. They have grown up in a different Indonesia than those who were 12 years old in 1998, who still experienced the turbulence of that historical year.

These voters have never had to struggle for democracy and have had democracy delivered to them. They take democracy and the freedoms they enjoy today for granted. They do not realize this n...