The announcement on Tuesday evening that Joko Widodo has won the Indonesian presidential election with over 53 per cent of the popular vote is good news for the country and the region.

While international condemnation of last Thursday's military coup in Thailand has been strong, it is often assumed that the military had to act to break an intractable deadlock in Thai politics.

To many outsiders, the ongoing "occupation of Bangkok" by anti-government demonstrators seems only half protest and the rest fiesta. But despite the high spirits, the protest is an act of political desperation.

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