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Perspectives

September 11, 2008
Gearing up for Indonesian elections

Max Lane works at the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney and writes about Asian affairs in his blog.

2009 Indonesian elections: Reflections

The Indonesian election campaign has started, following the announcement of the 44 political parties that passed the electoral verification process. The most obvious signs have been the waves of TV and newspaper political ads broadcast by the most well-healed parties, particularly the new parties established by ex-general Wiranto (HANURA) and ex-general Prabowo (GERINDRA). In reality, however, electoral politics has been ongoing now for at least two years. This has been the result of the new laws passed a few years ago to allow direct elections for the positions of Governor and Vice-Governor as well as for Bupati and Vice-Bupati. Bupatis are head of Kabupaten, the administrative region below governor. The Kabupaten are important administrative units because following the passing of decentralization laws in 2001-2, the Kabupaten administrations have had significantly enhanced budgetary powers.

Elections for governors and bupatis have been staggered throughout the last two years. This means that it is possible to identify some general trends and features of electoral political activity.

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Associated thumbnail courtesy of Flickr user zsoolt under a Creative Commons license.

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