February 24, 2023
JAKARTA – Indonesian International Islamic University (UIII) political analyst Philips J. Vermonte proposed that any changes to the current open-list electoral system should only be implemented in the next general election in 2029, as forcing a new system to be adopted next year could disrupt the preparation for the 2024 general elections.
He also cautioned that any changes to the existing electoral system should be designed for improving the country’s politics for the foreseeable future and not based on short-term political gain.
“Whatever changes will be adopted, they should be decided not based on the needs of today but what is good and truly needed in the long run,” Philips said in a discussion held on Wednesday.
The analyst was responding to the proposal filed at the Constitutional Court (MK) to challenge the 2017 General Election Law, seeking to restore a closed-list system, in which voters solely vote for parties that in turn exclusively decide the winning candidates proportionate to the number of votes won.
The petition was filed by members of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), currently the biggest party in the House of Representatives.
Pro-government and opposition parties have put up a united front against the push to ditch the current open-list proportional representation format.
Philips also said should the MK and the House decide to ditch the open-list system they could set a timeline as to when a new system could kick off in the future.
“They can add an article in the new law that it can take effect in either 2029 or 2034,” he said.