There are seven women incumbent candidates in the upcoming local elections. They might as well be trapped once again in the illicit relationship of patron-client.
Out of 101 electoral areas that will hold the upcoming local elections, there are 67 areas where there are incumbent candidates participating in it, with a total of 90 incumbent candidates. Out of the 90 candidates, there are 83 candidates from political parties, while the other 7 are independent candidates.
â€œMost incumbent candidates come from political party, around 92%,â€ says the National Coordinator of the Network of Voters Education for the People (JPPR), Masykurudin Hafidz, to Rumah Pemilu (10/03).
According to the data acquired from the official Election Stages Information System (Sitap) of the Election Commission (KPU) on Monday (10/03), out of the 90 incumbent candidates, there are 7 of them who are female candidates. Those seven female candidates are participating in seven electoral areas: one province, three regencies, and three municipalities. Those areas are the Province of West Papua, the Regency of South Barito, Bekasi, and Brebes, the Municipality of Banda Aceh, Cimahi, and Sorong.
In West Papua, there is Irine Manibuy who are participating in election as governorship candidate with Abdullah Manaray as her vice-governor candidate. Irine is supported by four political parties (PKB, PKS, PPP, and Hanura) which have around 20% of seats in the local parliament.
In the Regency of Bekasi, Neneng Hasanah Yasin is renominating herself for another term as regent candidate, with Eka Supria Atmaja as her vice-regent candidate. Previously, Neneng had Rohim Mintareja as her vice-regent, but both politicians broke up their partnership. Neneng and Eka are supported by four political parties (Golkar, Hanura, Nasdem, and PAN) which have around 40 percent of seats in the local parliament.
In the Regency of South Barito, there is Satya Titiek Atyani who are participating in election as vice-regent candidate with Eddy Raya Samsuri, the regent candidate. Both Satya and Eddy are supported by seven political parties (Golkar, Demokrat, Nasdem, PPP, PKB, PKS, and PAN) which have around 64 percent of seats in local parliament. Satya previously held the position as vice-regent for the incumbent candidate Farid Yusron. However, both politicians broke their partnership and Farid Yusron will be participating in the upcoming election with a new vice-regent candidate.
Meanwhile, in Brebes, Idza Priyanti renominating herself as regent candidate with Narjo as her vice-regent. Both Idza and Narjo are supported by seven political parties (Golkar, Demokrat, Hanura, PKB, PAN, PPP, and PDIP) which have around 78 percent of seats in local parliament.
In the Municipality of Banda Aceh, there is Illiza Saâ€™aduddin who renominating herself as city mayor candidate with Farid Nyak Umar as her deputy mayor. Both Illiza and Farid are supported by six political parties (Demokrat, Aceh Party, PKS, PPP, PKPI, and Peaceful Aceh Party) which have around 60 percent of seats in local parliament. Illiza broke her partnership with her previous deputy mayor, Zainal Arifin, who are now participating as deputy mayor candidate for another candidate, Aminullah Usman.
In Cimahi, Atty Suharti renominating herself as city mayor candidate with Achmad Zulkarnaen as her deputy mayor. Both Atty and Achmad are supported by three political parties (Nasdem, Golkar, PKS) which have around 28.89 percent of seats in local parliament. Meanwhile, Pahima Iskandar is the deputy mayor candidate for Lamberthus Jitmau. Both Lamberthus and Pahima are supported by eight political parties (Golkar, Demokrat, PDIP, PAN, NasDem, Gerindra, Hanura, and PKB) which have around 90 percent of seats in local parliament.
The Clientelism Trap
The Association for Election and Democracy (Perludem) argues that all those female incumbent candidates are able to renominate themselves because they have already consolidated a significant amount of required capital (both social and financial) during their previous term. Therefore, these female candidates have politically strategic position in the executive branch of government.
â€œPolitical parties responded to such incentive,â€ says Usep Hasan Sadikin, a researcher from Perludem, to Rumah Pemilu (10/03).
Political parties are beginning to see female candidates as worthy candidates, that they have the chance to win the election. That is why political parties dare to support female candidates.
In the last 2015 Local Elections, female candidates were also dominated by incumbent candidates. There are 12 out of 24 elected female candidates who are incumbents during the last local elections.
â€œPolitical parties are willing to support female candidates because the candidates have high electability rate. This way, those female candidates will be trapped within the relationship of patron and client,â€ says Usep.
Usep are expecting political party to support female candidates based on their merit, not merely because of their high electability.
Political party may improve the quality of their female politicians by allowing them to be more active in policy and decision making process.