Regional Elections Bill Limits Control over Regions, says Expert

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Purwo Santoso, a professor of government science at Gadjah Mada University, said the passing of regional elections bill (RUU Pilkada) would increase the possibility of Red-and-White coalition parties to occupy governor, regent and mayor posts in Indonesia. Purwo added that it would also hamper president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in executing his programs.

    “Jokowi will have a hard time to maneuver. He will not have full control [of regional governments]. The Red-and-White coalition will show that he will not get his hands on regional governemnts,” Purwo told Tempo on Friday night, September 26, 2014.

    When it happened, Purwo said, and Jokowi only counted on his popularity, the people would start to doubt him and eventually would lose trust in him.

    According to Purwo, both Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have no strong authority at the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and the Functional Group (Golkar) party. If they did not make efforts to balance the Read-and-White coalition, Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla would have no control over regional governments.

    Purwo added that indirect elections would not necessarily save election costs without control tools. Transactional politics would only shift from the central government to regional government. Purwo predicted many investors would go directly to regions and bribe regional heads and legislative councils to grease their ways to government projects. Regional heads would be also dependent on their donors.

    “We need to watch not only politicians, but also their transactions,” Purwo said.