- Elections in Indonesia
At a national level, Indonesian people elect a
head of state– the president– and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term, as are the 550-member People's Representative Council("Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat", DPR) and the 128-seat Regional Representatives Council("Dewan Perwakilan Daerah").
The Council is elected by
proportional representationfrom multi-candidate constituencies. Under Indonesia's has multi-partysystem, no one party has yet been able to secure an outright victory, meaning that parties work together in coalition governments.
The voting age in Indonesia is 17.
Legislative elections for the
Regional Representatives Counciland the People's Representative Councilwill be held in Indonesiaon 9 April 2009. Presidential elections will take place later in the year. These will go to a second round if no candidate manages to win more than 50% of the vote.
Most recent elections
Indonesia's first general election elected members of the DPR and the
Constitutional Assembly of Indonesia("Konstituante"). The election was organised by the governmentof Prime Minister Ali Sastroamidjojo. Sastroamidjojo himself declined to stand for election, and Burhanuddin Harahapbecame Prime Minister.
The election occurred in two stages:
* The election of the members of the People's Representative Council, which took place on 29 September 1955. Twenty-nine political parties and individuals took part;
* The election for the members of the Constitutional Assembly, which took place on 15 December 1955.
The five largest parties in the election were the
National Party of Indonesia("Partai Nasional Indonesia"), Masyumi, Nahdlatul Ulama, the Communist Party of Indonesia("Partai Komunis Indonsia", PKI), and the Indonesian Islam Alliance Party("Partai Syarikat Islam Indonesia").
This election, the first after the establishment of the "New Order", took place on 5 July 1971. Ten political parties participated.
The five largest political parties were
Golkar, Nahdlatul Ulama, Parmusi, the National Party of Indonesia and the Indonesian Islam Alliance Party.
Elections under the New Order (1977-1997)
Elections following the mergers were held under the government of President
Suharto. In accordance with the legislation, these were contested by three groups; Golkar, the PPP and the PDI. All elections in this period were won by Golkar.
To ensure that Golkar always won more than 60 percent of the popular vote, the New Order regime used a number of tactics. These included:
; Reducing the number of opponents : In 1973, the existing political parties were forced to merge into the United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI). These were the only parties allowed to contest general elections. Liddle (1978) p40] Evans (2003) pp. 21-21]
; Weakening the remaining opponents : The two political parties were forbidden to criticize government policy Liddle (1978) p44] , and the government had to approve all slogans they used. Furthermore, they were not allowed to organize at the village level (where the majority of Indonesians live). To stop the rise of charismatic figures, their candidates had to be vetted by the government. When a potentially charismatic figure (in the form of founding president Sukarno's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri) became leader of the PDI, the government engineered a political convention in Medan in 1996 to remove her. Ironically, the ensuing disturbances at the PDI's Jakarta headquarters began a chain of events that indirectly led to the downfall of the New Order.
; Coercion to vote Golkar : Civil servants were ordered to support Golkar, or face accusations of insubordination. Private sector workers were reminded of the need for "stability". Many people believed the vote was not secret, and the government did little to persuade them otherwise. Many voters were still at school, and they were warned by teachers of a link between their choice at the ballot box and exam success
; The vote-counting process : The Golkar votes were counted first, then those of the two other parties. In the 1997 election, by 9pm on the day after voting, Golkar had already been awarded 94% of its eventual vote. By contrast, the PPP had been credited with less than 10% of its final tally. TVRI (1999)]
; Vote-rigging : Although the counting at the local ballot boxes was conducted in public, with the ballot papers held up and the scores marked on boards, it was at the later stages where irregularities were frequently reported.
Source: [http://www.kpu.go.id/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=41 General Elections Commission (KPU) accessed 10-8-08]
The 1999 election was the first election held after the collapse of the New Order. It was held on 7 June 1999 under the government of
Jusuf Habibie. Forty-eight political parties participated.
The six largest parties which passed the
electoral thresholdof 2% were the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle("Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan"), the reformed Golkar Party, the United Development Party("Partai Persatuan Pembangunan"), the National Awakening Party("Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa"), the National Mandate Party("Partai Amanat Nasional"), and the Crescent Star Party("Partai Bulan Bintang").
Under the constitution, the new President was elected by members of both houses of Parliament in a joint sitting. This meant that although the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle won the largest share of the popular vote, the new President was not its nominee,
Megawati Sukarnoputri, but Abdurrahman Wahidfrom the National Awakening Party. Megawati became Vice-President.
Politics of Indonesia
* Cribb, Robert, 'Elections in Jakarta', "Asian Survey" 24 no. 6 (June 1984), pp. 655-664.
* Evans, Kevin Raymond, (2003) "The History of Political Parties & General Elections in Indonesia", Arise Consultancies, Jakarta, ISBN 979-97445-0-4
* KPU ("Komisi Pemilihan Umum - General Elections Commission"), http://kpu.go.id/Sejarah/pemilu1977.shtml, accessed 30 June 2006
* Liddle, R. William, "The 1977 Indonesian and New Order Legitimacy", South East Asian Affairs 1978, Translation published in "Pemilu-Pemilu Orde Baru", LP3ES, Jakarta, ISBN 979-8015-88-6
* Loveard, Keith, (1999) "Suharto: Indonesia's Last Sultan", Horizon Books, Singapore, ISBN 981-04-1478-1
* TVRI ("Televisi Republic Indonesia - Republic of Indonesia Television") (1997), Indonesian evening news broadcasts of 29-31 May, 1-5 June 1997.
* [http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/i/indonesia/ Adam Carr's Election Archive]
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