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Indonesia's Presidential and Legislative Elections

NEWS | 1 March 2019

For the first time, the presidential and legislative elections will be held simultaneously. This month we look at the parties contesting the election.

Logo of General Elections Commission (KPU)
A challenging experience for the General Elections Commission (KPU) to hold the presidential and legislative elections simultaneously.
(Photo courtessy of KPU/NOW!JAKARTA)

The 1998 reform movement led to the results of liberalisation in all sectors of life based on nation and state, including in the political sector which provides for people to establish political parties that are considered capable of representing their politics. It was carried out because the political parties inherited from the New Order era was deemed not to represent the real Indonesian people, which was only allowed the three parties could ran the election which were United Development Party (PPP), Party of Functional Groups (Golkar), and Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI).

After the collapse of the New Order with the overthrow of President Soeharto and restrictions on political parties were lifted, as the result no fewer than 200 political parties grew in the community. Of the hundreds of political parties, only 48 parties were entitled to take part in the 1999 election and resulted in several parties that received significant votes, namely Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar, PPP, National Awakening Party (PKB), and National Mandate Party (PAN).

Participants in the 2004 elections were reduced by half of the number of 1999 elections, a total of 24 parties. The reduction in the number was because of the electoral threshold (ET) imposed on the election. In Law No. 3/1999 concerning Elections it is regulated that political parties that are entitled to take part in the next election are political parties which obtain at least 2 per cent of the total seats in the DPR (House of Representatives). Parties that do not reach the threshold can take part in the next election must join other parties or form new parties. The 2004 Election produced seven parties that reached this ET, which are Golkar, PDI-P, PKB, PPP, Democratic Party (Demokrat), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and PAN. Although the percentage of ET is increased from 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the number of seats in the DPR, the 2004 Elections produced more political parties that received significant votes and passed ET for the 2009 elections.

For this year’s election, there are 16 national political parties -increased by four from the 2014 Elections from the total 12 parties- and four local Aceh political parties will take part of the election. And on 18 February 2018 the General Elections Commission (KPU) has announced the participant’s serial number. Among the 16 parties, there are four new parties: Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), Working Party (Berkarya), Change Indonesia Movement Party (Garuda), and United Indonesia Party (Perindo).

And this year’s election looks like a rematch of the 2014 encounter with the same two candidates bidding for the right to lead Indonesia for the next five years. Joko Widodo (Jokowi) picked Ma’ruf Amin, the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council on the number one, while Prabowo Subianto opted a multimillionaire Sandiaga Uno on the number two. There are seven parties that joined in proposing the Jokowi and Amin pair (PDI-P, Golkar, PKB, Nasdem, PPP, Hanura, and PKPI) while Prabowo and Sandi pair baked by four parties (Gerindra, PKS, PAN, and Demokrat).

As the corruption has been an important issue where people desperately looking for the clean leaders and legislators, the KPU released the names the legislative candidates who former convict corruption case. After the first announcement on 30 January which stated 40 names, on 19 February KPU again stated 32 additional legislative candidates names. Based on the data, the parties which allegedly carry the most former corrupt candidates are the Hanura with 11 candidates, followed by the Golkar and Democratic that each carry 10 candidates for those accused of corruption. Nasdem and PSI are believed to be clean parties where candidates both in the DPRD and Regency/City.

List of 2019 Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate Pairs

List of 2019 Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate Pairs
Joko Widodo as an incumbent is challenged by Prabowo Subianto in the 2019 presidential election in Indonesia.
(Photo courtesy of KPU/NOW!JAKARTA)