Seats remain empty during a plenary session at the House of Representatives. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Seat, Constituency Allocations at House of Reps to Be Re-evaluated: Home Affairs Ministry

BY :EKO PRASETYO

OCTOBER 11, 2016

Jakarta. The allocation of seats and constituencies at the House of Representatives, or DPR, might have to be re-evaluated to get a more proportional public representation within the parliament, a senior government official said.

"We have to re-evaluate the number of seats and constituencies to get a more proportional [representation]. The minister said there should be enough seats in the parliament to represent everyone," the Director General of Regional Autonomy at the Home Affairs Ministry, Sumarsono, said on Tuesday (11/10).

Soni, as he likes to be called, said several political parties have asked for additional seats in the House, arguing that the number of seats should reflect Indonesia's ever-growing population. This would make it necessary to revise the general election law, Soni said.

Soni said it will be the task of Commission II at the DPR — which oversees home affairs, the bureaucracy and state elections — to deliberate on any revision of the general election law.

Meanwhile, a senior researcher from the Election and Democracy Syndicate, or SPD, a research organization specializing in political and government systems, Pipit Kartawidjaja, said any revision to the number of seats in DPR should be balanced by a revision to the number of seats in the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD).

"Each constituency should have equal number of seats, proportionally," Pipit said, adding the government should avoid creating constituencies that will only benefit certain political parties.

Commission II deputy chairman, Ahmad Riza Patria, said the commission will wait until the government submits its draft revisions of the general election law before starting any deliberation on the issue.

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