Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the meeting with Chairman of Gerindra Party Prabowo Subianto on July 30, 2018 at Puri Cikeas, Bogor - Photo by Demokrat Party

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good morning. The Demokrat Party made an unpopular and surprising decision by allowing his cadres not adhering to the party’s line in supporting the opposition camp in the 2019 Presidential Election after a slew of party officials jumped ship and decided to back the re-election bid of President Joko Widodo.

The latest to switch side is the party’s Papua and North Sulawesi branches, on top of some influential politicians from the party who publicly support Widodo’s re-election bid. These politicians include Soekarwo from East Java, Tuan Guru Bajang from West Nusa Tenggara and Deddy Mizwar from West Java, who will also serve as the ruling coalition’s official spokesperson.

The decision should not come as a surprise. The party’s leader, ex-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has a penchant for indecisiveness and staying in the middle. Furthermore, the Demokrat has shown dissatisfaction since the first day of joining the opposition camp as its nomination for vice president candidate, heir-apparent Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, was rejected.

The decision drew sharp criticism from opposition politicians, who accused the party of trying to play safe in the election. The criticism, however, is unlikely to translate into the oust of the Democrats as it carries the second-largest vote counts among the opposition parties.

As politics take a new twist in Indonesia, the President went abroad to visit South Korea, one of the nation’s key trading partners.

During the meeting, Widodo witness the signing of investment deals by South Korean companies worth US$6.2 billion. However, what Widodo did not find out during his visit there was that Lotte Group, one of South Korea’s largest business conglomerates, decided to delay its $3.5 billion petrochemical investment in Indonesia.

Lotte Group’s deputy chairman Shin Dong-bin, who met with Widodo in South Korea, revealed that the investment was delayed as the group’s number one is currently in prison facing bribery charges. This will further dent the government’s increasing reliance on investment as growth engine, amid faltering household consumption.

As United States (US) President Donald Trump revealed plans for another bout of tariffs for Chinese goods which, if proceeds as planned, will encapsulate almost all China’s exports to the US, retaliation may come through a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.

China has filed a WTO request to impose sanctions on the US, citing Washington’s failure to comply with a ruling over US dumping duties back in 2013. The WTO has scheduled a meeting on whether to approve China’s request on September 21.

The development regarding the WTO request puts the global equity market into a retreat, which may spread to domestic financial market, which was shut on Tuesday due to Islamic New Year holiday.

On Monday (10/09), the Jakarta Composite Index ended down 0.3 per cent at 5,831 while the rupiah strengthened to 14,835 per US$1 from 14,884. However, the Rupiah will find some supports from the auction of government bonds worth Rp10 trillion to Rp20 trillion on Wednesday.

May you have a profitable day.

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