Jokowi was accused of being a crypto communist. Prabowo of harbouring the wish to establish a caliphate. Thus the election results can be seen as an indication of how the nation defines its soul.
FORSEA's Regular column offering readers updates on the moves and manoeuvres following the March 24th elections in in Thailand, the first nationwide polls since the coup of 2014 that overthrew the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
The presidential elections of 17 April in Indonesia are a rematch of the 2014 encounter. The same two candidates, Mr Joko Widodo and his adversary, retired general Prabowo Subianto, are again vying for the highest political position in the country.
Writing in the The Washington Post, FORSEA's Pavin Chachavalpongpun explains how Thailand's junta has intentionally created the parliamentary interregnum as a delaying tactic to undermine democracy.
In Indonesia, simultaneous campaigns of communist phobia and of homophobia portray both groups as enemies of the nation and condemn both for treacherously undermining the state’s morality and weakening its vigilance.