23 September 2014
The Indonesian House of Representatives is due to pass a bill ending direct elections of local leaders, leaving the selection process to legislators in regional parliaments. Is such a move missing the forest for the trees?
The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) is currently deliberating a bill that will transfer the election of local leaders from the people to the Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah). Direct elections at the local level or Pilkada (Pemilihan Kepala Daerah) had been in place since June 2005 on the back of reforms in electoral laws that called for an “open list” system and direct presidential elections under Law 32/2004.
Proponents of the abolition of direct local elections cite the high cost of state funding required as well as uncooperative regional heads once elected. The controversial bill, if passed, will take effect less than a month before the inauguration of president-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi), himself a beneficiary of the Pilkada system.
…Jonathan Chen and Adhi Priamarizki are Associate Research Fellows at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 24/09/2014