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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, August 17, 2018

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Indonesia`s elections: Democracy`s big bang

Parliamentary poll next week

Share on Facebook April 4, 2014, Reporter : BigNewsNet/TE, Reader : 547

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AS ORGANISED human efforts go, it is a big one. Nearly 190m Indonesians out of a population of about 250m are eligible to go to the polls on April 9th to elect a new parliament. The election commission has printed 775m ballot papers and shipped them to 550,000 polling stations scattered across the sprawling archipelago’s 900-odd settled islands. It is the fourth election since protesters, led by students, ousted Suharto, Indonesia’s long-ruling dictator, in 1998.

At stake are 560 seats in the House of Representatives or DPR, the lower house, along with 132 seats in the upper house. In addition, under Indonesia’s highly decentralised system of government since Suharto, voters will be electing 2,112 assemblymen in 33 provinces and almost 17,000 legislators at the district level. But in truth, for all the gargantuan nature of the undertaking, all eyes will be on just one result: how well the main opposition party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), does in parliament.

For it is the parliamentary polls that decide who may be nominated in the presidential election to be held on July 9th. Last month the PDI-P’s matriarchal head, Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia’s first president and herself president over a decade ago, stood aside, anointing the capital’s popular governor, Joko Widodo, as her party’s chosen candidate for president. more...

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