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Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s elections too expensive

  • Ward Berenschot

Leiden, Netherlands   /   Fri, July 19 2019   /  01:34 am

There are many reasons to admire Indonesia for its 2019 elections. These elections were the largest one-day elections in the world. Despite some glitches and disputes, the elections went relatively well. These elections showed that support for democracy is strong in Indonesia. Yet these elections also generated debate about whether Indonesia’s electoral system needs reforms. The immediate spark were the deaths of over 600 volunteers who organized the voting in polling stations. Most of them died of exhaustion owing to the complex challenge of overseeing the simultaneous elections. This sparked discussion about whether these elections should be held simultaneously and whether electronic voting should be implemented. There is a long history of tinkering with Indonesia’s electoral system. To name just a few of the most important reforms: the adoption of direct elections for president in...