Jokowi’s Potential Second Term Could See Domestic-Centered Foreign Policies

Joko Widodo campaign
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo addresses supporters at a rally at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia April 13, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo)

Analysts have weighed in on how Indonesia's foreign policy will look like if incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo bags a second term. It is expected that he will retain domestic-focused policies if official counts reveal that he will rule Indonesia for another five years.

According to The Jakarta Post, some economic analysts believe that Jokowi will keep his stance on ensuring that Indonesia's interests are prioritized if the country decides to engage further in foreign trade.

During his first term, Jokowi has repeatedly indicated that he lacks interest in foreign affairs. He has also been emphasizing on economic outcomes that focus on the Indonesian people. Analysts said this behavior could continue as he is set to be re-elected.

On the other hand, other experts suggested that Jokowi could be more open to change this time. He was previously criticized for failing to fulfill some of his campaign promises on his first attempt at the presidential seat. It is expected that he will pursue reforms if he wins again.

Before the general elections that took place on April 17, it was forecasted that whoever wins the presidential seat, the winner will be forced to address foreign policy gaps that could help the Indonesian economy expand further.

Economists noted that Indonesia can play a key role in ensuring that ASEAN member states improve ties for the purpose of promoting bilateral prosperity and regional peace. To achieve this, the Indonesian president should have a stronger presence in global dealings, analysts said.

With quick counts indicating that Jokowi will retain the presidency, globalization advocates have been urging the former mayor to explore ways on how the Indonesian government can implement reforms on foreign policy.

Meanwhile, Jokowi's apparent reelection is expected to further transform Indonesia into an open and free society that seeks to benefit Indonesians above all. It was also predicted that he will work on human rights concerns after failing to do so in his first term.

Jokowi is also expected to enhance ties with other key Asian economic leaders including China. Since Jokowi has been focusing on infrastructure in his first term, analysts suggested that this time, he will ramp up on construction projects with China to boost domestic trade.

Some political experts suggested that if Jokowi's archrival, Prabowo Subianto, wins the election, the former general will most likely redirect Indonesia to a dictatorship. Prabowo is known for his links to a number of offenses.

Official vote counts will be released sometime May but most Jokowi supporters expressed confidence in their presidential bet's win.

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