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Jakarta Post

Direct elections under threat as govt, parties consider removing people's right to vote for local leaders

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 9, 2019   /  08:19 am
The Jakarta Post Image
A man dips his finger in indelible ink after casting his ballot in the 2018 Bali gubernatorial election in East Denpasar during the simultaneous regional elections. (JP/Anggara Mahendra)

While direct regional elections have been championed as being vital to Indonesia’s democracy following the fall of the New Order regime, the government has considered taking voting power away from the public on the grounds that local elections have too many negative consequences, a move welcomed by several parties in the ruling coalition. Home Minister Tito Karnavian said the government planned to evaluate whether direct regional elections, held since 2005, should be continued. “I’m questioning whether the current regional election system is still relevant after 20 years. It has many benefits in terms of democratic participation, but there are also disadvantages," Tito told journalists at the House of Representatives compound in Senayan, Central Jakarta, recently. Tito added that the current system was prone to money politics, saying it was not a surp...