For more than a week, Indonesia has been rocked by massive student-led demonstrations against a new law that weakens the authority of the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission and a new draft criminal code being considered in parliament. Violent clashes with the police have resulted in the deaths of two protesters and more than 200 injuries so far. The unrest threatens to overshadow President Joko Widodo’s second inauguration ceremony later this month. Jokowi, as he is widely known in Indonesia, comfortably won reelection in April.
In an email interview with WPR, Yohanes Sulaiman, a lecturer in the school of government at the Universitas Jenderal Achmad Yani in Cimahi, Indonesia, explains why the government’s actions have sparked such a massive uprising and what Jokowi must do to assuage the protesters.
World Politics Review: Why is the work of the Corruption Eradication Commission such an important issue for the protesters, and what led Jokowi to throw his support behind a bill that would weaken the commission?