Juli 18, 2024

The Revised Law on Election = Missing Link of Simultaneous Elections

Revised Law on regional elections tends to be a disconnected flow of formulating 2019 election. Simultaneous election design of national and regional should have been counted in gradually in the legislation and the organization of elections in 2017 and 2018. After the 2019 general election, the election must use regional election design; conducting governor and regent/mayor election simultaneous with provincial house of representative and district/city election.

“The revised election law is protracted on clear things legally. Terms of councilor retreat if he/she nominates again in regional election and terms of support for independent candidates, both are already stated in the Constitutional Court”s decision that must be adjusted to the election law, “said executive director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Titi Anggraini in Central Jakarta ( 27/5).

There are still other aspects that are more principle to be fixed in the revised election law. For example, timeline schedule of areas going to conduct election in 2017 for batch 2 and 2018 for batch 3. Is it possible to combine these batches to fulfill simultaneous significance and efficiency by increasing provincial election held together with the elections implementation of districts / cities in one province? Does this revision consider the short time of the organization of 2018 and 2019 regional elections so that 12 provinces will experience a double burden of election administration?

Transition Election

Simultaneous elections are incorporation of executive and legislative elections in a single stage of implementation, in particular stages of voting. The goal is not only for budget efficiency, but also to create a congruent government or avoid divided government, in a form of parliamentary majority number of seats that is not owned by a party or coalition of parties nominating the elected president. From this definition of simultaneous, simultaneous regional elections are not concurrent elections.

Regional elections are on simultaneous election design tried to be pursued through the unification of electoral experts / codification of electoral law. Simultaneous regional elections are elections held by General Elections Commission (KPU) to elect regional heads and deputy heads of regional (provincial and district / city), member of the provincial parliament, as well as members of regency / city representatives. Because the period of regional heads and DPRD currently are not the same, it will require the simultaneous implementation of transition election.

“Based on the calculated term of office of regional heads and board members of Parliament that are tailored to the election cycle, the transition elections can be reflected the results in 2021. In 2021 Indonesia can hold simultaneous local elections (to elect governors and regents / mayors together with selecting members of the provincial parliament and district / city),”said the deputy director of Perludem, Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati in South Jakarta (30/5).


However, unfortunately the election law revision becomes a disconnected flow from the concept and an attempt to create simultaneous elections. DPR positions election law revision more as a desire-fulfillment of ruling political elites.

DPR wants to change the terms of the ownership of parliament seats in the regional head candidacy through party with a ratio of eligibility of independent candidates of regional heads. Though referring to the definition of “simultaneous elections”, the terms of the percentage of parliamentary seats in the elections for the nomination of the executive becomes irrelevant.

Therefore, there is no relevance to the ownership of party seats in parliament for the nomination of the party in simultaneous regional elections. In simultaneous elections, ideally all parties can nominate candidates for the executive. In national simultaneous elections all parties can nominate the president. In simultaneous regional elections all parties can nominate regional heads so the requirement to support regional head through independent candidacy is not a sentiment to fail but instead refers to the value of the seat of Parliament in the region concerned.

In addition, the revision of the election law as an unbroken flow embodiment of simultaneous elections for setting aside the principle of funding based on state budget. To establish simultaneous election design, elections that are only interested in selecting executives in local governance regime should be extended to the design of simultaneous elections that includes the national government regime. Simultaneous regional elections (direct) are held by KPU is national, permanent, and independent constitutional basis financed by state budget.

One needs of an electoral budget in regions from the state budget is for the needs of the transition acceleration simultaneity. The period of office of local government is not the same need for a transition phase to be all simultaneous post-election 2019. Law No. 32/2004 mentions that the elections held six months before the period runs out and local government office can not be held in the same year with the implementation of national elections.

State budget has a strategic role to match the period of office of local government. It is very difficult to ask the head of the area to use the budget to reduce his office period by conducting elections more quickly.

Urgency of simultaneous regional elections

Revision of election laws that needs to be connected with the concept and flow of simultaneous elections embodiment has the urgency related to conduct simultaneous elections. Simultaneous regional lections are needed to produce a correction phase for the presidential government. Advantage of presidential system of government is a definite period of presidency. However, a definite period is also a presidential weakness. If the president”s poor performance has to wait until his period of office ends, he/she can not be impeached unless he/she breaks the law.

“Simultaneous regional elections can be a correction of national government in the midst of the presidency period,” said research professor of  Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Syamsuddin Haris (18/5) in Jakarta.

If it is unsatisfactory, president and the bearing party supporting him/her can be punished in simultaneous regional elections, by choosing candidates and other parties at all levels of the area. However, if the president”s performance is excellent, simultaneous regional elections will strengthen the area of central and local relations.

If the revision of the election law is completely disconnected with simultaneous elections, it is a sign of the loss of the soul of simultaneous elections. It is more likely that regional elections will be interpreted as a strong election law provisions to regional government regime, not the electoral regime. The elections are still likely to be chosen by DPRD and elections are likely to be not simultaneous with DPRD elections. In simultaneous electoral purposes to create presidentialism establishment, the position of the elections become banal. []


Translated by SL