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Jakarta Post

Changing the electoral system once again?

  • Noory Okthariza
    Noory Okthariza

    Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 24, 2020   /  09:30 am
Changing the electoral system once again? Festive election: Dressed in traditional Javanese attire, poll workers serve voters in Giwangan subdistrict in Yogyakarta in the April 2019 legislative election. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has sparked a controversy for demanding the reinstatement of the closed-list electoral system. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

During its national meeting earlier this month, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) set an important agenda, which was to reinstate the closed-list electoral system in place of the current open-list proportional representation. Many have responded to the ruling party’s move, which is said to have been driven by the many unforeseen consequences of the current system. To name a few, widespread vote-buying, clientelism and patronage that have characterized Indonesian politics are attributed partly to the electoral design the country has adopted in the last decade. In retrospect, why has the open-list system become problematic and why does it need to be changed? To understand the logic of it, one should be mindful that such a system is putting a greater emphasis on voters’ discretion to select candidates. Unlike in the closed-list system, in which the select...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.