Tue, 06 Jun 2023

As prices rise, popularity of Indonesian president declines

Robert Besser
19 May 2022, 15:10 GMT+10

JAKARTA, Indonesia: A new poll released this week indicated that Indonesian President Joko Widodo's approval rating has hit a six-year low, amidst dissatisfaction over soaring cooking oil prices and the perceived failure of an export ban to swiftly reduce the rising cost of goods.

The figures from the survey released by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia and conducted from 5th to 10th May, showed that this May, satisfaction with Widodo, also known as Jokowi, fell to 58.1 percent, the lowest rating since December 2015 when his approval dropped to 53 percent.

Following a 12-point drop from January to April this year, his decline in ratings comes as Southeast Asia's largest economy has struggled to control domestic cooking oil prices, and after last month's decision to ban the exporting of palm oil, of which Indonesia is the world's largest producer.

The Indikator survey confirmed the decline in Jokowi's approval rating was mainly due to the rising cost of cooking oil and continuing inflationary effects, and after the export ban failed to see prices drop significantly.

The poll, which surveyed 1,200 people, found that while some 90 percent supported the export ban, more than 72 percent said cooking oil prices remain high.

According to Chief Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto, the export ban would stay in place until bulk cooking oil prices drop to 14,000 rupiah per liter around the country.

As of last week, trade ministry data showed bulk cooking oil was being sold at 16,600 rupiah per liter.

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