A plenary meeting at the House of Representatives in Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

No More Simultaneous Presidential and Legislative Elections: Political Parties

BY :DIANA MARISKA

JANUARY 08, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia's major political parties have told Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian that the simultaneous presidential and legislative elections in April 2019 were an "inconvenience" and that the electoral system needs to be changed.

Tito on Wednesday met with representatives from nine political parties to discuss the issue – the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's (PDI-P) Hasto Kristiyanto, Great Indonesia Movement Party's (Gerindra) Ahmad Muzani, National Awakening Party's (PKB) Hasanuddin Wahid, Democratic Party's Hinca Pandjaitan, Prosperous Justice Party's (PKS) Mustafa Kamal, United Development Party's (PPP) Arsul Sani, Golkar Party's Christina Aryani, National Democratic Party's (Nasdem) Hermawi Taslim and National Mandate Party's (PAN) Ibnu Bilaludin.

Arsul from PPP said one of the topics discussed in the informal meeting was a new election model to be used in the future.

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences' (LIPI) latest study found the electoral system used in the 2019 presidential and legislative elections was largely a failure with at least six major problems. 

"We know the Indonesian public have their reservations as well. The party representatives agreed an election with five ballots was inconvenient," Arsul said after the meeting.

In April last year, voters were required to fill in five ballots to elect members of the House of Representatives, provincial and district legislators, provincial representatives and president and vice president. 

Only Jakarta voters were given four ballots since they did not have to choose district legislators. 

The hectic elections claimed the lives of more than 550 polling station officers.

The party representatives told Tito the new system should allow for separate national and regional elections or separate executive and legislative elections.

Golkar's Christina said her party supported a revision of the current Election Law. Golkar also recommended a reconsideration of the parliamentary threshold and the number of seats allocated for each constituency.

Home Affairs Ministry spokesman Bahtiar said Tito will also discuss the issue with political parties that failed to secure a seat in the House in the last election. There are also plans to hold similar discussions with mass organizations.

Indonesia is set to hold regional elections in nine provinces this year.

 

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