April 15, 2024

Limited Open-List Proportional System Does Not Resolve Election Problems

In the new Election Law Bill submitted by the Government early this October, it is stated that the election system that will be used in the upcoming legislative elections is limted open-list proportional system. However, many people consider the system to be very similar in essence with closed-list proportional system where voters vote for political party instead of individual candidate.

In response to this, the Secretariat for the Election Law Codification Initiative (the Secretariat) asserts that the new Bill is only a subterfuge.

“The system is basically closed-list system. It looks like open-list system only because the election organizer will include the candidates list on the ballot. However, voters are only allowed to vote for political party, not the candidate,” says Masykurudin Hafidz, the National Coordinator for the Network of Voters Education for the People (JPPR), who is a member of the Secretariat (10/24).

Titi Anggraini, the Executive Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) makes similar statement. According to Titi, the Government should reconsider the limited open-list system contained in the Bill because it might as well be paralyzing voters participation and enhance political oligarchy.

“The Government should maintain the (full) open-list system and just improve it. One way to do that is by dismantling the domination of party’s chairman and secretary in determining which candidates that will participate in election,” Titi says (10/26).

According to Titi, open-list system needs to be improved because it has several flaws. Those flaws are, among others: increasing money politics, less accountability, and enhancing the oligarchy of political parties.