September 21, 2004

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Indonesia has a new President. Myrick says Goodbye Mega and welcome to SBY, whom he sees as a likely improvement on the ineffectual Megawati.

What is remarkable is Indonesia has conducted a peaceful and secure democratic election despite mind-boggling complexity. Over 100 million votes spread across an archipelago of 17,000 plus islands spreads over 5,000 kilometres. Despite tensions in areas as diverse as Aceh and Jakarta, the voting went off without a hitch. International observers report the voting was free and fair. This was the first time the Indonesian President was directly elected by the people. This is a country that only saw the end of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998.

What an outstanding achievement. Indonesia has proved that a moderate Islamic country can be democratic (Turkey is another example). All that tosh of democracy not being "compatible" with Islam has been proven to be bunk. Chalk it up as a win for the good guys and especially Indonesia.

UPDATE: Rusty has more background on SBY.

posted by Simon on 09.21.04 at 11:18 AM in the


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There's good news too
Excerpt: Indonesia is the largest Islamic nation in the world, and they've just held peaceful democratic elections. Thanks to Simon for pointing that out. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, there's another bunch of good news that you just don't hear about. Thanks to...
Weblog: Rocket Jones
Tracked: September 21, 2004 10:56 PM


Not so hasty. Turkey is not a democratic country in the Western sense. The army intervenes from time to time in order to ensure the continuation of the secular state. Perhaps that is the best we can hope for, a kind of forward looking secular authoritarianism.

posted by: RS on 09.21.04 at 11:52 AM [permalink]

I think the Indonesain army keeps an eye on things as well. One issue that has received little airplay about SBY is that he is ex army. Still I wish them well and hope that Indonesia doesn't do a Howard and launch a preemptive attack on Australia

posted by: da on 09.21.04 at 01:59 PM [permalink]

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