The year 2024 will feature two significant landmarks in Indonesia. First, 2024 is an election year. In addition to the controversy surrounding the Constitutional Court’s decision against imposing a maximum age for presidential candidates, the upcoming general elections will be fiercely competitive owing to a row between incumbent President Jokowi and the ruling party – the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) – as well as ideological criticism of existing economic liberalisation policies from leftist-nationalist politicians and populist religious leaders.
Second, under the so-called Minimum Essential Force (MEF) programme, Indonesia’s existing arms modernisation process is scheduled to be concluded by the end of 2024. However, the defence ministry is likely to miss the deadline for completion owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing trade wars, and the global economic slowdown. Intensifying geopolitical rivalries are likely to influence the general political atmosphere and shape the way the presidential candidates address key national security issues.