Major political parties have proposed an increase in the number of electoral districts or constituencies, in a move aimed at simplifying the electoral system, but analysts have warned the policy could encourage gerrymandering.
The polarizing proposal, which has been opposed by smaller parties, will likely further stall the ongoing deliberation on a revision of the general election law, as legislators were still bogged down in a debate about increasing the parliamentary threshold from the current 2.5 percent.
The Golkar Party, the country’s second-biggest political party based on legislative seats, is in the forefront of pushing the proposal. Priyo Budi Santoso, a Golkar executive who is also a House of Representatives deputy speaker, said that his party had proposed that the number of constituencies be raised to about 100 from the current 77.
“Expanding constituencies would reduce the size of each constituency, meaning that fewer legislative seats would be elected in each constituency. So we can expect that constituents would feel closer to their legislative candidates who would represent them at the House,” Priyo told The Jakarta Post.
Under the Golkar’s proposal, the number of House seats granted to each constituency would be reduced to three to seven from the current seven to 10 seats. “This is not to undermine minor parties,” Priyo said.
Golkar said it would intensify its move during the deliberation of the legislative elections bill set to begin during the next sitting period in September, Priyo added.