New Ash Center report lauds successes, proposes reforms for Indonesia

first_img Read Full Story Formerly an authoritarian state, Indonesia has made impressive gains over the last 10 years as the world’s first majority Muslim, multi-party democracy. The country’s successes and challenges as a new democracy are the subject of the new report titled “From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia’s Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance.” The report, authored by the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, offers an assessment of Indonesia’s governance and socioeconomic climate, and concludes that the country must move beyond current reforms to effect a dramatic institutional transformation in order to compete successfully in the global economy.Indonesia’s current economic and social conditions are described in the beginning of the report. It documents the nation’s struggles with inequality, corruption, and institutional failure, and outlines the many economic challenges that it faces, including a growing trade deficit with China, the continued exporting of its natural resources and the importing of many finished goods which could be produced domestically. According to the report, slow job growth coupled with inadequate infrastructure and public health services impede Indonesia from achieving its full potential.Recommendations for ReformThe report’s authors contend that the following short- and medium-term measures could set Indonesia back on the right course toward a path of prosperity:Electoral Reform: Indonesia’s current election processes vary across the country and are often plagued by corruption. Solutions like creating a single-member district (SMD) system and semi-closed list voting processes, or adopting Germany’s mixed SMD and closed-list system, could reduce the complexities and thus curb some corruption, incentivizing politicians to act more in the public interest. Reforming Decentralization: While decentralization has increased avenues for democratic participation, its speed and lack of coherent functions threaten to undermine its civic benefits. The report calls for inter-governmental review bodies, such as the Council for Deliberation on Regional Autonomy, to improve efforts in overseeing and coordinating decentralization. Creating a clear set of standards and criteria for the establishment of new administrative entities could provide much needed consistency and accountability of functions.center_img Adopting International Standards: China has had much success attracting foreign business by adopting international standards of accountability and transparency while involving international executives and board members. By following China’s example, Indonesia could make a stronger commitment to international rules and halt business-as-usual practices influenced solely by domestic interests.last_img read more

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US Adds Maduro’s Crypto Chief to Most Wanted List

first_imgBy Steven McLoud/Diálogo July 10, 2020 Another Venezuelan official linked to the illegitimate Nicolás Maduro regime has been added to the United States’ Most Wanted List.The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Joselit de la Trinidad Ramírez Camacho, who was also designated as a target of the U.S. State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program.The announcement was made on June 1 in New York, where Ramírez was indicted in the Southern District for violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Kingpin Act, and other sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.Ramírez, who currently serves as Venezuela’s superintendent of cryptocurrency, is accused of “having deep political, social, and economic ties to multiple alleged narcotics kingpins,” and participating in transnational organized crime. Tareck El Aissami, the regime’s economic and petroleum chief, was among the narcotics kingpins named in the announcement.“The Venezuelan people deserve a government that they have chosen freely and whose officials do not conspire with associates to engage in crimes of theft from the people of Venezuela, including money laundering to hide the proceeds of those illicit activities,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.Both Ramírez and El Aissami have been instrumental in launching the petro, a state-issued, oil-backed form of currency that the Maduro regime initiated in 2018.  They have been trying to popularize the currency domestically and with Venezuela’s small group of trading partners. Venezuelans can use this currency at gas stations and stores, but despite all attempts by the regime, the currency has not been universally adopted and has had very limited effect.In March 2020, the U.S. announced a $15 million reward for Maduro on drug-trafficking charges, as well as up to $10 million for other members of his regime including El Aissami; Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuela’s illegitimate National Constituent Assembly; and Vladimir Padrino, the country’s Minister of Defense.“The United States is committed to helping Venezuelans restore their democracy through free and fair presidential elections that will provide them with honest and capable national leadership,” Pompeo said.last_img read more

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