The draft for the new Elections Law has been completed by the Parliament’s Special Comittee for the Elections Law Bill. Both members of the Committee and executive government have agreed on many issues, save for five crucial issues regarding election system. These five issues, which are presidentiial threshold, parliamentary threshold, seats allocation per electoral area, open-list proportional system, and votes-to-seats conversion method, will be decided by voting.
The completion of the draft has already been way overdue. The Elections Commission will need a very long time to make technical regulations based on the new Law. In addition, the 2019 Elections will be the first concurrent national elections ever be held in Indonesia. Titi Anggraini, the Executive Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), expresses her opinion on the new Elections Law (07/11).
What do you think about the newly passed draft of the new Elections Law?
It is way overdue. And the election management bodies (EMBs) will be affected greatly by this. There might be not enough time to make proper and comprehensive technical regulations for the EMBs.
Do you consider this as a bad start for the 2019 Elections?
Yes. One of the reason why the Constitutional Court (MK) decided that the 2014 Elections shall not be held concurrently is to give enough time for the EMBs to prepare and make the best technical regulations for 2019.
Why is it late?
It is, indeed, very unfortunate. The government has been late preparing this draft since the beginning. The government only submitted the initial draft to the members of Parliament on October 2016. The government should’ve respond swiftly to MK’s decision to immediately make a new Elections Law for the 2019 Elections.
Does it help that members of Parliament prioritize a certain number of crucial issues only?
Many members of Parliament from different political parties have different interests as well, and they insisted in safeguarding their own interests instead. This made the lawmaking process becomes much longer than expected.
The Law still needs to pass Completion Phase. Is there any possibility that the government or members of the Parliament cancel this law?
The completion phase will be determined by voting. The ultimate decision is on government’s hand. If the government rejected the voting result, this will show how our Parliament is in very poor performance. I really hope that the government and members of the Parliament will make the best decision for the people and will not burdened the EMBs with the uncertainty regarding the Elections Law.
What is the consequences if the government reject the result of Completion Phase?
The new Elections Law Bill will be rendered illegitimate and the government must use the old Elections Law. The Elections Commission will have to work much harder to make technical regulations for the upcoming elections.