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Jakarta Post

Democracy in peril as parties seek to scrap direct elections

  • Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Fri, November 29, 2019   /  08:02 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Demonstrators stage a rally calling on the nation to save democracy in a protest on Jl Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta, in June. (Antara/M. Risyal Hidayat)

The nation has only enjoyed four direct presidential elections since 2004, as a result of the 1998 reform movement, yet influential figures and leaders of political parties continue to attempt to roll back this aspect of Indonesia’s democracy. Against the backdrop of power sharing after the April election, political parties through the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) recently voiced the need to make constitutional amendments. As the MPR determines public opinion on such amendments, the government, political parties and the country's largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) have come up with the idea of scrapping direct elections. The MPR has discussed with party and mass organization leaders the planned amendments. The most recent meeting was with NU on Wednesday, during which the organization suggested reviving the New Order-style political system,...