Thursday, 27 February 2020

Jokowi Oppose Scrapping of Presidential Threshold

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  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo a.k.a. Jokowi. TEMPO/Aditya Budiman

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo a.k.a. Jokowi. TEMPO/Aditya Budiman

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo alias Jokowi insists on opposing the scrapping of the presidential threshold of 20 percent. “The previous [elections] adopted 20 percent, why would it be changed back to zero?” he said in Semarang.

    According to Jokowi, a consistent and simple election is crucial in politics. The government has invited the House of Representatives (DPR) factions to hear the reasoning.

    The government is being backed by three out of 10 DPR factions: the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Golkar Party and Nasdem Party. Meanwhile, Democrat Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and Gerindra Party are adamant that presidential threshold should be scrapped.

    The presidential threshold is the last issue being deliberated in the election bill, which is a composite of three election laws: the presidential election law, legislative election law and election organization law. The year 2019 will see the first simultaneous legislative and presidential elections.

    Last week, Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo continued to lobby government-supporting parties to approve 20 percent presidential threshold. He had met PDIP faction speaker Utut Adianto, Golkar Party faction speaker Robert Joppy Kardinal and PPP faction speaker Reni Marlinawati in Wisma Nusantara, central Jakarta.

    Tjahjo said that he would withdraw from the deliberations on the election bill and would issue a government regulation in lieu of law (perpu) if political parties did not approve the proposal. He did not expect the DPR to make the decision via voting in a plenary.

    As a result, the PPP is softening its stance on 20 percent presidential threshold, having previously proposed 10-15 percent. “We have no problem with 10 or 20 thresholds,” PPP secretary-general Arsul Sani said.

    The National Mandate Party (PAN) secretary Yandri Susanto has said that presidential threshold is no longer relevant because the legislative election and presidential election will be held simultaneously. Therefore, despite endorsing Jokowi, PAN is proposing a zero percent presidential threshold.

    Jakarta-based Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) executive director Titi Anggraeni agreed with PAN. She said that the Constitution holds that a presidential candidate may be nominated by parties and coalitions of political parties participating in general elections. “Having seen the construction of the article, all political parties who participate in general election reserve the right to nominate a presidential ticket,” she said.