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Panel Discussion “Hopes and Fears on the Eve of the Indonesian Presidential Election”

February 13 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


On 14 February 2024 more than 200 million eligible voters (more than half below 40) in Indonesia will elect the next president and vice-president as well as choosing executive and legislative representatives at all administrative levels. Focus is especially on the presidential election that see ex-Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan (candidate #1), Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto (candidate #2), and ex-Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo (candidate #3), competing.

The election has become a test for democracy and political integrity with the process marred by Machiavellian machinations, populist gimmicks and unethical practices involving the current President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). As the Guardian puts it “There is unease among civil society groups, and others, that Jokowi is trying to retain influence even after leaving office. His son Gibran was only able to run as vice-president of candidate [for Prabowo Subianto] after a court, headed by Jokowi’s brother-in-law, tweaked eligibility criteria”.  The lack of neutrality and tacit approval of the extremely popular President for his previous 2-times election opponent Prabowo Subianto, a former General with an authoritarian past, is skewing the election outcomes. Concerns about the role of political dynasties, the abuse of social aid and other government resources by the President himself and the state apparat, and candidate #2’s poor human rights record are leading to protests and challenging the strength of Indonesian democracy.

In the belief that this election in a country so far seen as “the region’s democratic linchpin” has major implications also for the entire region, SEA Junction is holding a panel discussion “Hopes and Fears on the Eve of the Indonesian Presidential Election” on 13 February 2024 at 5.30pm at SEA Junction. Our director Rosalia Sciortino will moderate the event and the panel speakers are:

  • Richard C. Paddock, foreign correspondent New York Times
  • Kharisma Nugroho, Research Fellow, Migunani Research Institute Jogjakarta
  • Galuh Wandita, Co-Founder & Director of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) [online]

Speakers and Moderator Profile

Richard C. Paddock

Richard C. Paddock has worked as a foreign correspondent in 50 countries on five continents with postings in Moscow, Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok. He has spent nearly a dozen years reporting on Southeast Asia, which he has covered since 2016 as a contributor to The New York Times. He began his career with The Los Angeles Times, Moscow bureau chief and Jakarta bureau chief. He later worked as senior correspondent in Southeast Asia for The Wall Street Journal.

Kharisma Nugroho

Kharisma Nugroho an accountant and medical sociologist by training with varied interests including locally-led transformation, knowledge sector, public health, and anti-corruption initiatives. He is passionate about continuous quality improvement and equity-focused research and evaluation and has co-authored a book on Local Knowledge (Policy Press University of Bristol UK, 2018) and has co-edited a book on Knowledge, Politics and Policymaking in Indonesia (Springer, 2018).

Galuh Wandita

Galuh Wandita began working on peace and conflict issues in the 1990s in Indonesia, focusing on women’s health and human rights, community rights impacted by mining, with an emphasis on empowering local actors, during the authoritarian New Order regime. In 2012, Galuh co-founded Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and continues to lead the organization as its Executive Director, managing programs and staff in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries.

Rosalia Sciortino Sumaryono 

Rosalia Sciortino is an associate professor at the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University; Visiting Professor at the International Development Studies program, Chulalongkorn University; and Director of SEA Junction (seajunction.org). She has served as IDRC Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia (2010–2014), Senior Adviser to AusAID in Indonesia (2009–2010), and Regional Director for Southeast Asia of the Rockefeller Foundation (2000–2007). Rosalia Sciortino Sumaryono also served as a program officer at the Indonesia and Philippines offices of the Ford Foundation (1993–2000).

Selected media articles:




Presidential and vice-presidential candidates ©Reuters

For more information, please email: info@seajunction.org or phone/wa: +66970024140

NB: The event is free, but donations are welcome to support SEA Junction activities.


SEA Junction

SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions, from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 407-8 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information, see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @seajunction.


February 13
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


SEA Junction