Indonesia: Outgoing Pres. Accused of Interfering for Candidate

    Indonesia: Outgoing Pres. Accused of Interfering for Candidate
    Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Following the release of an investigative documentary on Sunday, outgoing Indonesian President Joko Widodo is facing accusations of using state money and officials to help prop up the candidacy of current Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

    • In response to the allegations, which include manipulating election rules, hundreds of Indonesian students took to the streets in protest.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Indonesia's overall corruption level has risen since Widodo took office. A blatant example of this was the outgoing president's decision to dissolve the Corruption Eradication Commission, which was developed during the post-dictatorship anti-corruption movement in 2004. Widodo has intentionally freed corrupt government officials from the eyes of the law, so it makes sense that he'd interfere in an election, too.

    Narrative B

    If the endorsement of President Widodo was supposed to be an indictment on Prabowo's character, the opinion polls would beg to differ. The reason Prabowo is now the frontrunner in this race is because of his connection to Widodo, whose popularity is also quite strong. Widodo and his preferred candidate are also polling well with younger voters — a demographic a duly elected leader usually needs.

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