The Jakarta Post
The government has warned that too many members at the House of Representatives would burden the state budget; hence, it needed to consider the additional seats requested by lawmakers for the 2019 election.
During the deliberation of the election bill on Monday, the House agreed to add 19 seats to the current 560 legislative seats for 2019 legislative election. Meanwhile, the Home Ministry only wants a maximum 10 additional seats.
“Of course, [the 19 additional seats] will be problematic [for the state budget]. That’s why we only suggest five or 10 more seats,” Home Ministry secretary-general Yuswandi Tumenggung said on Monday.
The 19 additional seats are expected to go for 13 provinces, including three seats for North Kalimantan as a new province. Riau, West Kalimantan, Papua and Lampung will get two more seats each. Eight provinces -- North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Jakarta, West Java, Southeast Sulawesi, Jambi, South Sumatra and West Nusa Tenggara – will get one additional seat each.
Yuswandi said he had not calculated the possible budget increase to accommodate 579 lawmakers.
“Like it or not, the state budget will be certainly affected,” Yuswandi said.
Lukman Edy, the chairman of the special committee for the election bill deliberation, said the House would continue to communicate with the government should the latter reject the lawmakers’ demand. As a consequence, the bill deliberation might take longer, he said. (ebf)