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Alternative Political Party Convention as Regional Head Candidate Opting

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Political Party Convention as Alternative for Recruiting Regional Head Candidates BY GIRINDRA SANDINO

Currently, approaching the election for governor and vice governor in the local election of Jakarta in 2017, political parties are exploring, looking for, recruiting, and soliciting political figures who deserve to be promoted to be the candidates for governor and vice governor of Jakarta to fight in the local election of Jakarta in 2017 . Obviously, the local election of Jakarta is the contestation of a very prestigious local democracy since Jakarta is a barometer of Indonesian politics.

One of the names that emerge today is the incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, aka Ahok, who is still in the  top list in terms of the electability, compared to the other candidates, as well as Ahok will take an independent path to go forward as a candidate for regional head in the local election of Jakarta in 2017. The other figures who emerge are Yusril Ihza Mahendra, Sandiaga Uno, Adhiyaksa Dault, Lieutenant General (Retiree) Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, until the famous Dai, Yusuf Mansur, who is now reportedly approached by PPP. However, no single political party or coalition of political parties officially declares the candidate pair for regional head and deputy regional head for the local election of Jakarta.

Although the Local Election Law is currently being revised and delayed anyway, at least the political party or coalition of political parties that wants to carry the candidates (old Local Election Law) must have 22 seats. Based on the data of Jakarta Election Commission, 106 seats of Jakarta city council‘s seats are filled by 10 political parties. This means that political parties that want to carry the prospective regional head in Jakarta must coalesce or combine to achieve the requirement, except PDIP that can bring about the single candidate pair of regional head.

The votes and seats of 10 political parties for Jakarta Parliament are as follows: 1. PDIP: 1,231,843 votes (28 seats); 2. Gerindra: 592,568 votes (15 seats); 3. PPP: 452,224 votes (10 seats); 4. PKS: 424,400 votes (11 seats); 5. Golkar: 376,221 votes (9 seats); 6. Democrat: 360,929 votes (10 seats); 7. Hanura: 357,006 votes (10 seats); 8. PKB: 260,159 votes (6 seats); 9. NasDem: 206,117 votes (5 seats); 10. PAN: 172,784 votes (2 seats).

Related to the case, we, KIPP Indonesia, as said by the other election observers, offers a discourse that is not a new thing, which is the convention of political parties in recruiting or hiring prospective regional head. If this idea is accepted, our democracy will be more advanced, and therefore the recruiting process of leaders in the local election pre-candidacy can involve the community in general. With the open convention of political parties or coalition of political parties, the advantages gained, according to KIPP Indonesia, are as follows:

Firstly, although the convention of political parties or primary election is a recruitment mechanism of candidates at the national level (Presidential Election), as in the United States, France, Italy, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, and others with different system, there is no harm to be applied in Indonesia in recruiting prospective regional head. Hence, the presence of open political party convention, with not only from internal political parties, but figures who are outside the political parties, at least will change the public‘s view of political parties for attracting future leaders oligarchily. Open democratic competition of internal political party can be judged by the general public dealing with the candidates inside political parties and outside political parties, for example, their track record, integrity, credibility, understanding, and knowledge of the problems of Jakarta and others.

Secondly, the open convention of political parties or coalition of political parties in the local election will cause greater community participation to determine the future leaders who will compete in the local election. So, in this case, the voter rationality can be formed before the campaign period and polling day. So, the voters are not easily provoked by certain opinions. Therefore, the convention of political parties can indirectly educate people in politics.

Thirdly, with the convention mechanism, the political parties must give opportunities to the best potential. In other words, only through open recruitment and trusted selection, a political party can survive with cadres who are supported by the community. It means that the selected candidates in the convention have strong legitimacy before contesting in the local election.

Fourthly, it‘s time for our democracy to take a progressive step by instituting a political party convention or primary election, both at local and national levels. It can be made in the Law on political parties, Electoral Law, as well as KPU Regulation. Therefore, with the political party convention to recruit the leader candidates in the local election and presidential election,  participatory democracy, in real terms, can be realized, so that it will strengthen the consolidation of democracy in Indonesia. There is still time about 4 months for political parties to hold an open political party convention in the local election of Jakarta. Thus, the image of political parties in the eyes of public is expected to further improve. []

GIRINDRA SANDINO

Careteker KIPP Indonesia

Translated by Nuraini Fitria

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