Sixteen years after the fall of long-ruling dictator Suharto, Indonesia has developed into a thriving, boisterous democracy, where structural problems such as corruption and inequality persist but are freely discussed, Ben Bland writes for The Financial Times:
Indonesia is preparing to hold one of the world’s most complicated elections at a crucial juncture for the third-biggest democracy after India and the US. Indonesians will choose a new parliament on April 9 and then vote for the presidency in July, with a run-off election in September if no presidential candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the vote.
Fears about vote buying and poll manipulation are widespread as Indonesia prepares to hold one of the world’s most complicated elections at a crucial juncture for the third-biggest democracy after India and the US, he adds:
With more than 50m voters under the age of 30, Titi Anggraini, the executive director of Perludem, an independent election watchdog, hopes that young, tech-savvy activists can help to keep wayward politicians and officials in check through social media.
“The level of transparency from the KPU is far better than previous elections and I believe this openness will be followed by participation from young voters and others,” she says.
On April 9, Indonesians will elect members of the national level legislatures and sub-national legislatures in what is one of the most complex electoral events globally, IFES adds:
There are 4 million election officials in over 545,000 polling stations across a country of 17,000 islands, managing 775 million ballot papers in 2,450 different designs to get 19,699 candidates elected for 532 legislatures at national and sub-national level.
To help you understand this multifaceted electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Elections in Indonesia: 2014 National Legislative Elections. IFES FAQs include:
What is the election management body? What are its powers?
How are the legislative bodies structured?
What is the legal framework for elections?
What technology will be used?
Download IFES’ FAQs on Elections in Indonesia: 2014 National Legislative Elections.