Saturday, April 4, 2009

Indonesian Election

The Indonesian elections is only days away (April 9, 2009) and campaigning has also come to Malaysia. In November last year, I only saw one operations centre in the Chow Kit area, today there are many more.

There are supposed to be at least 5 polling stations in KL including at the Indonesian Embassy in Jalan Ampang and the Indonesian School near the Mall.

When asked how our house helpers could cast their votes, I was informed that they would have to have registered with the Embassy last November to be eligible. (So no chance of them casting their votes this time.)

The politics of Indonesia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Indonesia is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two People's Representative Councils. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The 1945 constitution provided for a limited separation of executive, legistative and judicial power. The governmental system has been described as "presidential with parliamentary characteristics." Following the Indonesian 1998 Revolution and the resignation of President Suharto, several political reforms were set in motion.

Executive branch

The president and vice president are selected by vote of the citizens for five-year terms. Prior to 2004, they were chosen by People's Consultative Assembly. The last election was held 20 Setember 2004. The president heads the United Indonesia Cabinet (Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu) The President of Indonesia is directly-elected for five-year terms, and is the head of state, commander-in-chief of Indonesian armed forces and responsible for domestic governance and policy-making and foreign affairs. The president appoints a cabinet, who don't have to be elected members of the legislature.

Legislative branch

The People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat) has 550 members, elected for a five year term by proportional representation in multi-member constituencies. The other chamber of the People's Consultative Assembly(Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat) is the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah). Following elections in 2004, the MPR became a bicameral parliment, with the creation of the DPD as its second chamber in an effort to increase regional representation.