Six government coalition political parties appear unwilling to reconcile their divergent views on proposed amendments to the legislative threshold as legislators begin to consider revisions to the 2008 legislative election law.
Democratic Party lawmaker Gede Pasek Suardika said Thursday that the six parties – the ruling Democratic Party, Golkar Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the United Development Party (PPP) – had met a day earlier to discuss for the first time a possibility for the coalition members to agree upon an appropriate legislative threshold during the deliberation of the law revision.
The meeting, attended by the parties’ House faction leaders, however, ended with only minor progress as Democratic Party politician and Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syarief Hasan, who led the forum, suggested other party representatives “calm down and consider their legislative threshold proposal for the sake of the coalition.”
“Although the meeting was full of laughter, everyone there knew that the [threshold] issue they discussed was a sensitive matter,” he said.
Gede, who is also a deputy chairman for the House’s Special Committee for the deliberation of the law revision, believed that the forum would help the coalition parties to reach a consensus by January, or two months before the deadline of the law revision, despite the meeting’s slow start.
The government has proposed a legislative threshold of 4 percent for the 2014 polls, an offer supported by the Democratic Party. The coalition’s strongest party, Golkar, however, has sided with the biggest opposition party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which instead wants the threshold to be set at 5 percent.
Meanwhile, four smaller coalition parties, PKB, PAN, PKS and PPP, have joined with the opposition’s People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) and the Great Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra) to form the so-called “central axis”, which wants a 3 percent threshold.