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Jakarta Post

Indonesia plans to keep direct elections in democratically ‘mature’ provinces. Papua may be left out.

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana
    Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 22, 2019   /  09:19 am
The Jakarta Post Image
A voter collects a ballot from an election official in June 2018 at a polling station in Abepura district, Jayapura, to vote in the Papua gubernatorial election. JP/Nethy Dharma Somba(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

Across its more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is divided into 34 provinces, consisting of 416 regencies and 98 municipalities, ranging from Surabaya with more than 2.8 million residents to Tambrauw regency in Papua with only around 6,300. With the exception of the administrative municipalities of Jakarta and the special region of Yogyakarta, where the governorship is an inherited office, all these provinces, regencies and municipalities have one thing in common: They hold direct regional elections to pick their local leaders for five-year terms. The government has indicated that that might be about to change. One of Home Minister Tito Karnavian’s many suggestions to "evaluate" direct regional elections made over the past few weeks is an "asymmetrical" approach, in which some regions hold direct elections, while others, particularly conflict-prone ones suc...