Indonesia’s Widodo prepares for annual address amid strong support

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo will deliver his second State of the Nation address on Tuesday (Aug 16), amid stronger political support and increased approval ratings.

Political analysts also say Widodo will take the opportunity to urge Indonesians to continue supporting him and to show them he is still the right person to lead the country in an uncertain economy.

Last month, Widodo reshuffled his Cabinet for the second time in less than two years in a bid to bolster his administration and reinvigorate the economy. He made 13 changes, and appointed nine new ministers.

This new line-up, some analysts say, has put him in a stronger position to face the people for his second state of the nation address.

“The political condition and situation in 2016 has been quite different from last year,” said Political Research professor Ikrar Nusa Bhakti at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. “For example, in 2015 the president was still stabilising the relationship between the government and parliament, stabilising the Cabinet … and improving his relationship, not only with the opposition parties but also with the coalition parties.

“The president’s power, I do believe, is already maybe 90 per cent in his own hands.”

Compared to last year, Widodo now has solid political support after several opposition parties switched to join his ruling coalition, allowing him room to push through reforms for the country.

He also has good public support – a recent survey showed nearly seven out of 10 Indonesians were satisfied with his performance so far.

Observers say Widodo’s focus and challenge will still be the economy, and he is expected to spend some time talking about the tax amnesty programme which the government implemented less than a month ago.

“He will use the address to speak on tax amnesty, to convince people that it is part of an important program to help the economy,” said Jayadi Hanan, executive director of Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting. “He will appeal to the people to support this programme, not only in terms of symbolic support, but also the behaviour to increase tax revenue.

“(Widodo) will not only need the commitment of the people normatively, but also the behaviour of the people, improving their compliance voluntarily, not only because of the law.”

The state of the nation address will pave the way for Indonesia’s budget statement for 2017, something that’s closely watched each year.

As the country prepares to celebrate its 71st year of independence on Wednesday, political experts say the president’s state of the nation address is also a good opportunity to rally the people, and inject greater optimism into the country.

Sumber : channelnewsasia

Penulis   : Saifulbahri Ismail

Kategori:Tax Amnesty in English

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