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Jakarta Post

Insight: New election law puts Indonesia’s democracy at risk

  • Patrick Ziegenhain

Kuala Lumpur   /   Sat, July 22 2017   /  12:16 am

The right to nominate a presidential candidate for the 2019 election depends on the 2014 House of Representatives election. This is the quintessence of the new election bill that the House passed Thursday night. One does not need to be an expert in constitutional law and politics, because common sense is enough to understand that this regulation is not only somewhat awkward but has clear undemocratic features.

Five years are a long time in politics, and voter support for political parties might rise or decline quite dramatically. The Indonesian party system is quite stable compared to party systems in other developing countries around the globe. Nevertheless, the results of legislative elections may differ by about 5 to 10 percent.

The Democratic Party, for example, lost 87 of its previous 148 legislative seats in the 2014 elections, whereas Gerindra more than doubled its...