The newly-endorsed Legislative Elections Law will make no significant changes for better elections and democracy in the future because it is purely based on pragmatic political interests of the nine parties at the House of Representatives, according to critics. Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Speaker Irman Gusman criticized the House’s plenary session, which reduced the election bill’s substance to the four crucial issues on the legislative threshold, electoral system, electoral districts’ magnitude and vote counting method, which he said had no direct relation or benefits for the people, a fair legislative election and a better democracy in the future.
“The televised plenary session where the four crucial issues are settled by voting becomes a political stage, which is not good to be watched by the wider public precisely because the four issues are really interests of the political elites and their parties, and that is why the plenary session turns into a political transaction,” he said in a roundtable discussion on the legislative election bill here on Thursday.
Executive director of the Indonesian Parliament Watch (Formappi) Sebastian Salang regretted the energy and the huge budget allotted by the House in the past two years to review the 2008 legislative election law because the reviewed law did not make changes to improve democracy. “Giving to much attention to the parties’ four crucial interests, basic issues on how the voter roll should be professionally compiled, how education for voters should be conducted and how election conflicts and disputes should be anticipated are not well regulated in the law,” he said, adding parties were only one of numerous stakeholders that should be regulated in details in the law.