In a sign of further democratization in the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, holds parliamentary elections today. But holding an election in this nation is a huge proposition. 170 million voters, spread out across an archipelago of thousands of islands, with more than 300 local languages and a population that spans from rural hunter-gatherers to an urban elite. But this is a country that’s come a long way. The Economist this week says Indonesia has gone from being an “authoritarian basket case to a regional role model” and that Indonesia has “a fair claim to be South-East Asia’s only fully functioning democracy”. To help us assess those claims and to ask why this election is of interest to Americans, we are joined by Dr. William Liddle, an Indonesia expert at the University of Ohio and from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, the BBC’s Indonesia correspondent, Lucy Williamson.
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