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Jakarta Post

Weakened opposition leads to democratic regression, says experts

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal
    Elly Burhaini Faizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 25, 2019   /  05:03 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Seeking support: Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto (third left) is pictured on Dec. 27, 2017 with Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Sohibul Iman (second right) and PKS secretary-general Mustafa Kamal (right). Gerindra deputy chairperson Rachmawati Soekarnoputri (left) and former Indonesian Military commander Gen. (ret) Djoko Santoso (second left) also appear in the photograph. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

Political experts have warned against the consequences of having a weakened opposition after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo invited opposition leader Prabowo Subianto to join his administration.      They say a strong opposition serves as a vital element for the establishment of a transparent, accountable and clean government, and that its absence may cause a setback in the country’s democracy. In a democracy, a strong opposition system is essential, said Ward Berenschot, a KITLV senior researcher studying contemporary politics in Indonesia and India. A strong opposition, he argued, could discipline power institutions and force power elites to work hard and avoid failure. “With criticism, power holders will always be forced to improve what they have done by working a lot harder,” he said. The Asian politics and economy lecturer a...