SINGAPORE — It has been common in recent years to praise Indonesia as Southeast Asia’s primary democratic success story. Vital achievements include a successful campaign against Islamist terrorism and the end to three decades of futile military oppression of Aceh province.
Indonesia’s swift transition to democracy and its proud standing as the world’s largest Muslim-majority democracy have tended to cloud deeply rooted deficiencies in the country’s political culture. In the course of the last few years, a more balanced and sober perspective on the quality of Indonesian democracy has taken over.
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