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Title: Characterising independent candidates in Indonesian local politics
Authors: Dinarto, Dedi
Ng, Jefferson
Keywords: Humanities::General
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Dinarto, D. & Ng, J. (2021). Characterising independent candidates in Indonesian local politics. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 40(2), 266-292.
Journal: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 
Abstract: This article examines the phenomenon of independent candidates (calon perseorangan) in Indonesia’s regional executive elections (Pilkada) to better understand why candidates run as independents and whether independent candidacy has reduced political inequality in the electoral system. In this study, we compiled candidate information using Indonesia’s General Election Commission’s (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, KPU) database as well as structured open-source searches to develop a data set and profiles of independents over three election cycles. Using this data set, we distinguished three categories of independents – partisan, non-partisan, and underdog independents – by analysing differences in power resources and motivations among the candidates. We found that contrary to public perceptions in Indonesia, independent candidacy has not helped to alleviate unequal access to political office. Successful independents are predominantly political insiders and local notables. This finding has important implications for democracy in Indonesia – we show how the inability for political outsiders to win political office harms democratic representation.
ISSN: 1868-4882
DOI: 10.1177/1868103420972412
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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