How will a new Indonesian president shape the country’s position in the Indo-Pacific and its ties with the Netherlands? Indonesia has the potential to become a crucial player and key cooperation partner for Europe and the Netherlands in the Indo-Pacific. This snapshot by assistant analyst Alisa Hoenig and strategic analysts Benedetta Girardi and Paul van Hooft investigates how the presidential elections on 14 February 2024 will affect this role.
Since the outgoing president Jokowi has exhausted his term limit, political change is guaranteed in Indonesia in 2024. The country has a strategic position along key maritime trade routes, and its internal political developments therefore matter beyond its national borders. The snapshot therefore analyses the three candidates’ support for democratic values and human rights, and their preferences for Indonesia’s foreign policy. It links the findings to Indonesian-Dutch relations. Finally, the snapshot assesses which candidate is most likely to win.
When it comes to foreign policy, the candidates do not differ substantially. Future Dutch-Indonesian ties will thus be shaped more by divergences and convergences on the support for democracy and human rights. The most likely winner of the elections is a former army general tied to Indonesia’s dictatorship. Under his presidency, Dutch-Indonesian relations might become more complicated because of divergences in the value given to human rights and democracy.
Authors: Alisa Hoenig
Editors: Benedetta Girardi and Paul van Hooft