Indonesia has been independent for 78 years, and Australia has been engaged in bilateral relations with Indonesia across various aspects for 75 years. This demonstrates that Australia has accompanied Indonesia’s growth as a democratic nation.

Last February, Indonesia just held elections for the President and Vice President for the 2024-2029 period. Certainly, as Australia’s neighbor, the outcome of these elections will likely affect the future relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

There are three pairs of presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 2024-2029 period in the Republic of Indonesia: Anis Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar, Prabowo Subiyanto-Gibran Rakabuming, and Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfudz MD.

As of today, although Ganjar-Mahfudz have garnered more votes in Australia, based on overall quick count results, Prabowo-Gibran lead with an average of more than 52% of the votes.

Each presidential candidate has a diplomatic background with Australia. Starting with Anis Baswedan, who delivered a lecture at the Australian National University in 2023. In 2023, he also spoke at an Asia Society Australia event at RMIT Melbourne on the political developments in Indonesia.

In his speech, he also discussed about the future of Australia-Indonesia relations. Anis, who became Indonesian Minister of Education in 2014-2016, was also once interviewed by Australia’s leading television channel, ABC News. There, he stated that Australia will always be a friend of Indonesia.

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subiyanto, who currently serves as Indonesia’s Minister of Defense, met Australia’s Defense Minister, Richard Marles in February 2024. He mentioned that the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between the two countries, which is currently in progress, has made significant progress in its planning and is expected to be signed in the coming months.

Prabowo explained in an interview with one of Indonesia’s media outlets, “I don’t see there will be many surprises, but one thing is for sure, as the deputy prime minister (Australia) conveyed, we (Indonesia-Australia) are close neighbors.”

In 2023, the third presidential candidate, Ganjar Pranowo, while serving as the Governor of Central Java Province, met the Treasurer and Minister of Trade and Investment of Queensland, Australia, Cameron Dick in August 2023.

The meeting aimed to strengthen and enhance cooperation between Central Java Province and the State of Queensland, which has been established for approximately 32 years. This includes areas such as investment and renewable energy. According to the Election Commission’s results, Ganjar-Mahfudz won the vote of the Indonesian diaspora in Australia.

All three presidential-vice presidential candidates of Indonesia have a diplomatic history with Australia. Hopefully, whoever is elected can continue the cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.