Indonesia’s Presidential Election: Review of Policy Platforms

Three presidential candidates have been registered by their respective political party coalitions for the upcoming election: Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java alongside his vice-presidential candidate, Mahfud MD; former Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, with Muhaimin Iskandar as his running mate; and Prabowo Subianto, a former military general, with Gibran Rakabuming Raka, President Jokowi’s eldest son, as his vice-presidential candidate.

Key policy areas as declared by the presidential candidates:

Economic Growth

Ganjar and Prabowo have both set high targets for annual economic growth at 7%, while Anies aims for a range of 5.5% to 6.5% between 2025 and 2029. (Note: Indonesia’s economy grew 5.3% last year, with expectations of a slight decline to around 5%). Sticking with a similar theme, Ganjar’s commitment to the highest economic growth filters into his pledge for the highest job creation target of 17 million. Anies follows closely behind, with a target of 15 million jobs, specifying the inclusion of “green” jobs. Prabowo, on the other hand, has not made his job creation target clear. On taxation, Prabowo will raise the threshold for non-taxable income and lower individual income tax rates. Anies focuses on increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio, to reach 5.6% by 2029 (up from 2.6%). Ganjar seems to be the main candidate looking towards the digital era, specifically through his digital tax reform which aims to boost tax revenues and double the national budget, despite the absence of any proposal for tax hikes. Both Ganjar and Prabowo express their commitment to continuing programs initiated during President Jokowi’s administration. Prabowo placing a particular emphasis on achieving self-sufficiency in food, energy, and water. Anies, however, pivots towards strengthening free trade agreements and Indonesia’s role in international financial institutions.

Environment and Renewables

All three candidates recognize the importance of the energy transition in addressing national environmental concerns. Anies emphasizes government incentives for the renewable energy sector, while Ganjar focuses on investments in these areas. Prabowo’s approach combines the intersection of the mineral processing industry and a green economy. Prabowo’s stance on retiring coal power plants is notable, as he plans to provide loans to facilitate this transition. Anies also looks to retire existing coal power plants and limit the construction of new ones. In a bolder move, Ganjar is the only candidate to pledge “carbon neutral” by 2050. Both Ganjar and Anies promote the adoption and diversification of new renewable energy sources (EBT), Ganjar promising a 30% share of renewables in the energy mix by 2029, while Anies recommends establishing a resource endowment fund on natural resource revenues. Prabowo’s focus is more broadly on the concepts of the orange economy, green economy, and blue economy.

Social Welfare and Health

As for poverty targets, Prabowo has committed to completely eradicating extreme poverty by 2026 and to eliminating poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in children. Ganjar aims to increase social welfare by adding 5 million more families to existing programs (up from 10 million). Anies focuses on empowering local communities by increasing village funds by 150% (up from IDR 2 billion) and providing subsidies to pregnant women. Prabowo also seeks to focus on prenatal health as well as childhood and adolescent health through his proposed “Free Meals” program.

Foreign Affairs

All three candidates share a commitment to upholding Indonesia’s free and active foreign policy, following Jokowi’s pivotal pillar of fostering peace in the region. Ganjar and Prabowo align their foreign policy goals with their support of Jokowi’s administration, particularly in maintaining close bilateral ties with China, Indonesia’s largest trading partner. Conversely, Anies favors an emphasis on a values-driven foreign policy approach, criticizing the current transactional nature of trade and investment-centric policies. Not unlike Jokowi’s policies, Anies also emphasizes the need to prevent the domination of certain powers. Anies and Prabowo’s foreign policy approaches juxtapose one another in terms of economic diplomacy. Anies focuses on launching Indonesian brands globally, while Prabowo seeks to prioritize nationalistic economic sovereignty, emphasizing the goal of reducing Indonesia’s reliance on imports.

Indonesia’s Future Direction

Of the three candidates, Anies is the only one to have voiced criticisms of plans for the new capital, Nusantara. Both Ganjar and Prabowo emphasize the continuity of Widodo’s program to build the new capital, with Ganjar promising to expedite its construction. However, it is unclear what specific policies will follow Anies’ criticisms. Concerning corruption, Anies has the most comprehensive policy, recognizing that corruption has deterred many from investing in Indonesia. Ganjar, too, acknowledges the issue, stating his commitment to strengthening the national anti-corruption agency. Prabowo, on the other hand, has not yet addressed specific measures to combat corruption. In the digital space, Ganjar has yet again shown to be the most active in harnessing the digitalization transition, highlighting the importance of building a national internet network and data protection laws. Prabowo touches on digitalization through his support for digital start-ups. Anies’ only mention of the digital sphere is through the eradication of online gambling. Yet, thinking about Indonesia’s future direction, Anies focuses on housing, promising the creation of 2 million new affordable housing units, including for informal workers and youth, an area the other two candidates have yet to address.


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