Many believe that, during the election years, politicians and bureaucrats will be too busy thinking about the elections to make any big decisions, enact major policies or issue any important laws.
In the context of the multiparty presidential system Indonesia has adopted, this view makes sense. Under this kind of political system, the president must be able to build a stable coalition of parties in a fragmented political environment to be able to govern effectively.
When a presidential term ends, however, these coalitions tend to dissipate or at least their ties become ambiguous as each party tries to ensure that it is backing the right horse in the coming electoral race. As a result, making new policies and drafting new legislation presumably become more difficult.
Looking back at the last election, this was not necessarily the case; many important policies and la...