Nature and Performance of Indonesia’s New Democracy


In Indonesia, democracy was lost during Suharto’s leadership. During this period, there was authoritative leadership in Indonesia. Under democracy, the citizens are given the freedom of speech and are involved in making critical decisions. On the other hand, the citizens are given minimum rights under authoritative system.

Nature of Indonesian’s new democracy

Over the past, Indonesia has faced a long period of dictatorship. This was characterized by the domination of one leader who had excessive powers through the help of the military. This was during the Suharto’s reign. During his leadership, Suharto used the military to retain his leadership. People remained without power to make critical decisions touching them. However, new democracy rose after his fall in 1998. After the Suharto’s fall in 1998, there was a significant improvement in democracy level. The military has become more impartial, the fact which has promoted the ability for the citizens to choose their leaders and replace them accordingly.

Performance of Indonesia’s new democracy

Over the recent past, Indonesia has been recording a significant improvement in the level of democracy after Suharto’s fall in 1998. This is despite of the fact that the number of countries across the world that meets at least the electoral democracies by promoting the freedom to elect and replace leaders has stagnated (Stanford 2009). The world has for the last decade been experiencing democratic recession. Currently, Indonesia is performing better than all the democracies that lost democracy at the time they lost theirs (Webber 2005). There are both civil liberties and political rights.

Factors promoting the effectiveness of the Indonesia’s new democracy

In Indonesia, there are a number of factors which facilitated the new democracy in the country. One of the main factors which promoted democracy in Indonesia is the democratic transition which took place in 1998. This was after the fall of Suharto. Another major factor which promoted democratic effectiveness in the country is the elimination of the military involvement in politics.

Democratic transition in 1998

As already noted, Indonesia is one of the countries which has recorded a significant improvement in terms of democracy. One of the main factors which have brought this improvement was democratic transition in 1998. This presented a new face of democracy in Indonesia where people got the freedom of choosing their leaders of choice.

Elimination of military involvement in politics

Although there are a few aspects of military involvement in politics, the role of military in politics has significantly reduced. The military is encouraged to remain neutral in order to promote democracy.

Factors hindering the performance of the Indonesian’s new democracy

During Suharto’s reign, the military was involved in politics. The military was biased towards the existing leaders. For instance, the military provided Suharto with support in his activities. For instance, they intimidated other leaders who attempted to oppose his leadership.

After his fall, some of the older military systems have remained. The system has also developed as culture among the people. Some of the leaders from the older system were retained. The military still has some political influence. However, this culture is being dissolved with time.

Achievements of the new Democracy in Indonesia

After the fall of Suharto, Indonesia enjoyed a significant economic growth and transparency in elections. This was as a result of the end of the authoritative regime.

Economic Growth

In the authoritative regime, the citizens did not have powers to question the leaders. As a result, there was no responsibility. Leaders were therefore not committed in their performance. Cases of corruption was high and there was high level of negligence. This is because the government did not receive any critic. This led to slowed economic growth.

Transparent Elections

During the authoritative regime, the leaders used the military to drive their interests. The leaders used the military to retain their seats. This violated democracy and therefore the elections did not reflect the choice of the citizens (Tan 2006). However, this changed after the

Reference List

Media Bebas. 2011. Anti-Capitalism – Indonesia. Web.

Stanford, L. 2009. How is Indonesia’s democracy doing? Web.

Tan, P. 2006. Indonesia Seven Years after Suharto: Party System Institutionalization in a New Democracy Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs – Volume 28, Number 1, 2006, pp. 88-114.

Webber, D. 2005. A Consolidated Patrimonial Democracy? Democratization in Post-Suharto Indonesia. Web.

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DemoEssays. "Nature and Performance of Indonesia’s New Democracy." January 1, 2023.