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Hassan Shittu

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Indonesia's Presidential Election Sees Crypto-Friendly Team in the Running

Source: AdobeStock / De Visu

Indonesia former Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has declared victory in the presidential election following unofficial vote counts indicating a significant lead, potentially securing a single-round win in his third bid for the presidency. 

Subianto, along with his pro-crypto running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka, have been chosen as Indonesia’s next president and vice president, respectively. 

Prabowo Wins Paving the Way for Continued Crypto-Friendly Policies

Unofficial results indicate Prabowo secured nearly 60% of the vote, surpassing the threshold to avoid a runoff, with approximately 85% of votes counted. Pollsters conducting “quick counts” at voting stations nationwide suggest Prabowo secured approximately 58% of the votes, with the tally ranging from 86% to 95% of ballots as of 1400 GMT.

To win in a single round, a candidate must secure more than 50% of the votes cast and at least 20% of the ballot in half of the country’s provinces. The election, considered the world’s largest single-day event, featured nearly 259,000 candidates vying for over 20,600 posts across the Indonesian archipelago.

The legislative contest revealed a potential strong parliamentary backing for Prabowo’s government coalition, garnering approximately 42% of votes compared to the 27% backing Anies’s alliance.

The victory signals a potential continuation of Indonesia’s crypto-friendly policies, which were initiated under the leadership of incumbent President Joko Widodo. Widodo’s government has actively embraced the local interest in cryptocurrency to bolster the national economy, resulting in a higher number of registered crypto investors compared to stock traders in the country.

During their election campaign, Prabowo emphasized their intention to enhance supervision of tax compliance among both stock and crypto traders. Meanwhile, Gibran outlined their plans to support the development of young experts in blockchain and cryptocurrency, underscoring their commitment to nurturing “future talents with future skills.”

The incoming leadership of Prabowo and Gibran is anticipated to uphold existing crypto-friendly policies and potentially pave the way for the implementation of more regulatory measures favorable to the cryptocurrency sector.

Addressing supporters in Jakarta, Prabowo emphasized a commitment to governing for the collective benefit of all Indonesians, regardless of background or affiliation. He stressed humility in victory and pledged to lead alongside his running mate, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of incumbent President Joko Widodo.

Prabowo urged supporters to await the official announcement from the country’s election commission, scheduled for March, to maintain peace and avoid potential unrest. Notably, deadly riots erupted following the 2019 election when Prabowo disputed the outcome.

Indonesia’s Crypto Future

Appearing alongside his running mate, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the son of the incumbent president, Prabowo expressed gratitude for the quick count results, declaring the outcome a victory for all Indonesians. He pledged to form a government comprising the nation’s best talents.

In December, he made headlines for saying he wants to prepare blockchain and crypto experts to improve Indonesia’s tech sector. He reiterated this during the second official presidential debate focused on economic and infrastructure topics on December 22.

Prabowo has meanwhile said his government will enhance the supervision of tax compliance among stock and crypto traders to combat tax evasion.

The new leadership’s stance suggests a possible continuation of existing policies and a potential move towards even more crypto-friendly regulations in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, former governors Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo trailed behind with approximately 25% and 17% of the votes, respectively, according to independent pollsters known for their accuracy in previous elections. However, the official result, expected by March 20, awaits confirmation from the election commission. Both runners-up have contested the early results, citing the need for further verification.

Indonesia is a fast crypto adopter, not just in Southeast Asia but around the world, placing seventh on Chainalysis’ 2023 global crypto adoption index. The country has an estimated 18 million crypto investors and a powerful industry association that also acts as a self-regulatory body. 

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