House agrees to an additional 19 legislative seats for 2019 election
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives will add 19 seats in the 2019 legislative election, bringing a total of 579 lawmakers in the legislative body.
House members made the decision during the deliberation of the election bill on late Monday evening, following heavy debate and closed-door lobbying among factions.
“We finally agreed to add 19 seats [...]," said National Awakening Party (PKB) lawmaker Lukman Edy, who chairs the House’s special committee for the deliberation of the election bill.
Committee deputy chairman Ahmad Riza Patria of the Gerindra Party said it was likely the 19 additional seats would go to 13 provinces, including three seats for North Kalimantan as a new province. Riau, West Kalimantan, Papua and Lampung would get two more seats each.
Eight provinces -- North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Jakarta, West Java, Southeast Sulawesi, Jambi, South Sumatra and West Nusa Tenggara -- would get one more seat each.
“We considered principles of proportionality and equity based on the growth of the population in each region,” Riza said.
The House currently has 560 lawmakers representing 33 provinces.
Separately, the government insisted on increasing the number of House seats to 570.
Home Ministry secretary-general Yuswandi Tumenggung said five out of the 10 seats might be given to North Kalimantan, while Riau and Lampung would get an additional seat each.
The five remaining seats would be given to three provinces that lost seats in the 2014 election, such as Gorontalo, Maluku and West Papua. “The House has made a decision but we have not agreed to it yet. Adding 19 more seats goes beyond our calculations,” Yuswandi said. (ebf)
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