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Jakarta Post

News Analysis: A democratic yet confusing and litigious-prone election

  • Meidyatama Suryodiningrat

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 6 2009   /  07:23 am

The most important political office, the late US Supreme Court jurist Louis Brandeis remarked, is that of the private citizen.
When Indonesia’s Constitutional Court last month revoked two articles in the (legislative) Election Law No. 10/2008 rescinding the party-dominated list system, their intent was to curb the power of party institutions and strengthen the “office” of private citizens.
The court ruled that legislative candidates with the highest number of votes in a particular district would automatically win the seat on offer, rather than use the party-determined list system currently in place.
While the court ruling is a sanguine step forward, it complicates an already brittle tallying process and potentially weakens the quality of democracy by soliciting the practice of  “popular” elections.
Unless the court further rescinds...