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May 2009

The Indonesian General Elections Commission has not yet completed counting all the votes in the April 9 elections to the national parliament and scores of local assemblies. However, some things have become clear. There was a very high level of voter abstention, a phenomenon already evident in many elections for provincial governors during 2007-08. Most of the polling and survey organisations put abstention — those who did not register or who registered but did not vote — at 40%, up from 30% in 2004 and only 7% in 1999. In addition, there are widespread anecdotal reports of deliberate informal votes, which will probably increase the abstention rate to at least 45%.

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April 27: Talk on the politics of workers movement in Indonesia as part of panel organized by the Alliance for Independent Journalists and the Alliansi Buruh Menggugat at Indonesian Legal Aid Institute, jakarta, Indonesia..

May 19: “Pramoedya in Southeast Asia”. Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies, University of Gajah Mada.

June 6: Participation on panel on impact of global crisis, with speakers from Indonesia, Mauritius and the USA. Sydney, Australia. Time and venue announced soon.

June 19: “Indonesia After Suharto”, Socialism 2009 Conference, Chicago, USA

July 1: “Literature, Memory and Social Movements: Indonesia 2009”, International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE), Amsteram, The Netherlands

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