Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

The Impact of an Open-party List System on Incumbency Turnover in Indonesia

The continuing adoption of an open-party list system as the Indonesian electoral system raises an essential question of how it will affect political competitions in the wake of the 2014 elections. Particularly on the evolving concern of incumbency turnover, statistics from the 2009 elections indicate that only 25 percent of the incumbents were re-elected, while around 75 percent of the parliamentary seats went to newcomers. Does this number imply that the chance of incumbents to reclaim their seats at the parliament was reduced because the citizens were able to vote directly?

Another essential issue is the expectation for better political representativeness as an ideal aim of this system. Reflecting on the previous two elections, how has an open-party list system affected the voting behavior of Indonesian voters to translate this ideal?

On June 26, 2012, USINDO hosted an Open Forum with Dr. Michael Buehler and Dr. Philips J. Vermonte. Based on his recent research, Dr. Michael Buehler presented a comprehensive analysis on the impact of vote-seeking strategy and voting behavior under an open-party list system on Indonesian politics and the incumbency turnover. Dr. Philips J. Vermonte further complemented the presentation with an insightful assessment on the relation between an open-party list system with the goal of creating a better political representativeness in Indonesia.

View the Open Forum Brief »