Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Understanding Changes to Indonesia’s Electoral System and their Relationship to the 2014 Elections

A fuller understanding of Indonesia’s election laws, the changes being debated, and how they may affect the 2014 elections is essential for any informed observer of the elections.  Recently, new electoral laws have been passed and others are being debated in parliament that will have a significant impact on the legislative and presidential elections in 2014.  Also, laws on political parties and electoral institutions have been promulgated, with the latter being challenged in the Constitutional Court.  These laws will affect political party participation, as well as the composition and functioning of key electoral institutions, such as the Indonesian General Elections Commission (KPU) and the Elections Supervisory Body (BAWASLU).

New election laws being debated will likely deal with parliamentary threshold, seat allocation arrangements, and electoral district magnitude.  Raising the threshold will likely create significant hurdles for smaller parties to win legislative seats.  Changes in district magnitude could affect the number of parties in parliament, as well as the ratio between votes cast and seats won.

Several challenges in election administration also remain, including updating and rebuilding a reliable national voter list, and transmitting election results from polling stations to KPU for accurate tabulation.  The transition of KPU’s entire senior leadership ahead of the next elections and KPU’s resource limitations will also affect the Commission’s capacity to administer the election.

Peter Erben, IFES’s resident Chief of Party and Senior Electoral Advisor for Indonesia, will brief us in depth on the significant challenges ahead in electoral law and administration in Indonesia, both at the national and sub-regional level.

Please join USINDO and IFES for this guide to understanding the current debates regarding some of the most fundamental aspects of the Indonesian electoral system, and their potential impact for 2014.

Sandwiches and Refreshments will be served