Indonesia's direct local elections : background and institutional framework
Date of Issue2007
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
In June 2005, Indonesians held their first-ever direct gubernatorial, mayoral or regent elections across the country. Despite the historical meaning of such elections, experiences of holding direct local elections over the last two years suggest that systemic issues related to the elections' institutional framework have tarnished the electoral processes and outcomes in many cases. This essay examines Indonesia's historical background of decentralization and institutional framework have tarnished the electoral processes and outcomes in many cases. This essay examines Indonesia's historical background of decentralization and institutional framework for direct local elections. This essay also argues that the ultimate problem with Indonesia's direct local elections lies in its attempt to implement political decentralization, volutarily or reluctantly, as a way of consolidating the country's new democracy at local levels. Indonesians have always responded to the idea of decentralization in an ambivalent way, which has in turn affected the path of decentralization that their political leaders have taken amid sweeping political change. While the resultant institutional arrangements for decentralization have indeed made local politics and governance more dynamic, they have not yet made local political process more responsive and participatory.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science::Strategy::Asia
RSIS Working Papers ; 137/07
Nanyang Technological University