Outgoing Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Governor Ahok, lost a contentious gubernatorial election last week. His chances were adversely effected by a blasphemy scandal, and an Indonesian court will rule on this case on May 9, after the governor responded to “the prosecution’s recommendation of two years’ probation in lieu of a suspended jail term”. Pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting found that even though 76 per cent of respondents were satisfied with his performance, 50 per cent said they would not vote for him, and while Governor Ahok’s brash approach and controversial policies could be to blame, there are also broader questions about “the country’s endemic electoral fight between pluralistic democracy and political Islam”. Continue reading
A short review of David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin’s “Missed Information”. Continue reading
The announcement by Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May – calling for a general election in June – surprised many, but her Conservative Party is likely to significantly increase its parliamentary majority, and Labour Party is headed for a crushing defeat. In Indonesia, former cultural and education minister Anies Baswedan is projected to have won the gubernatorial election in Jakarta, defeating incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or “Ahok”. Govenor Ahok’s chances were adversely affected by a blasphemy scandal. In Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared victory in a referendum which would replace his country’s parliamentary system with a more powerful presidential office, though the opposition has vowed to challenge the very close results.
And in the United States, a special election in Georgia is headed to a run-off, after Democrat Jon Ossoff came close to winning 50 per cent of vote. This comes a week after a special election in Kansas emerged to be much closer than expected. Continue reading