Experts gather to address the biggest election in the world

The world’s single largest election day will take place next month, as Indonesians head to the polls.

With more than 190 million eligible voters, 800,000 polling stations, 300,000 candidates and 20,000 seats, the numbers are mind-boggling. Nearly as confounding as the politics.

To help navigate election complexity, pivotal think-tank Griffith Asia Institute, and key business body the Australia Indonesia Business Council (AIBC) will join forces in a special event in Brisbane on April 15.

Expert speakers will explain the political and economic aspects of the impending election, and its impact on the Australian-Indonesian relationship.

Griffith Asia Institute members, Adjunct Professor Colin Brown, and Griffith Business School Deputy Head of Marketing Dr Denni Arli, will outline just what Australians need to know about the race, and why we need to know it. With professorships in international relations in top-ranking Australian and Indonesian universities, the former Curtin University Dean of Faculty Professor Brown said the significance of this election for Australia was profound.

“The Presidential, national and local elections to be held in Indonesia on April 17 should be of interest to all Australians.”

“They will set the political and economic course for our near neighbour for the next five years or more, and shape the future of the recently-signed Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

“They will also influence the state of the neighbourhood in which we both find ourselves.

The issues in play are wide-ranging: nationalism, social media, the nature of political leadership, hoax news, religion, the role of millennials — these elections have them all.

“And the contest between incumbent President Jokowi and his challenger Prabowo is getting tighter and harder to call as election day approaches.”

This election is the second in which incumbent Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo and opponent Prabowo Subianto have faced off, and the first time the legislative and presidential elections will be held on the same day.

AIBC Queensland Chair Paul Martins said understanding the ramifications of the Indonesian elections is critical.

“Indonesia is a growing market for Australian goods and services and our 13th largest trading partner.

“The recently signed Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) will help take the relationship with our closest neighbour to a new level and it’s important to understand the political dynamic” said Mr Martins.

Professor Brown and Mr Martins invite businesses interested in Indonesia to join them on April 15 at Griffith University at South Bank to discuss the election and its impact on business dealings into the future.

Please click here to register for this event.