Indonesian legislative election, 2009
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Legislative elections were held in Indonesia on 9 April 2009 for 132 seats of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) and 560 seats of the People's Representative Council (DPR). A total of 38 parties met the requirements to be allowed to participate in the national elections, with a further six contesting in Aceh only. The Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won the largest share of the vote, followed by the Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle.
On 5 October 2004, three regencies were carved out of the province of South Sulawesi to form West Sulawesi as the 33rd province of Indonesia. Because this occurred after the 2004 legislative election, West Sulawesi was not represented in the Regional Representative Council during the 2004–2009 period.
There were talks on increasing the number of seats in the People's Representative Council as early as September 2007. In a meeting of a committee to draft changes to the Constitution, various factions within the government proposed an increase to between 560 and 600 seats total. On 18 February 2008, the committee agreed on a 10-seat increase in the Council to 560 total seats in order to accommodate for the new province of West Sulawesi and population increase.
In accordance with General Election Commission Regulation No. 20/2008, the first phase of the election was finalizing the list of voters. This was completed on 24 October 2008 with 170,022,239 people announced as eligible voters. However, a month later, the Commission announced that due to errors in entering data, and after eliminating multiple counting, the final total was 171,068,667, including 1,509,892 overseas voters. It changed the final count once again on 12 March 2009 to 171,265,442 national and overseas voters after investigating allegations of voters left unregistered.
The election campaign began on 12 July 2008 and ran until 5 April 2009, followed by a "quiet period" of three days, during which all election posters, banners and other materials had to be removed from public places. However, TV advertising was permitted to continue.
The legislative election took place on 9 April, and results were announced one month later. The new members of the Regional Representative Council and the People's Representative Council will be sworn in on 1 October.
Over 60 parties registered for the elections, but only 34 originally met the eligibility requirements. However, on 15 August 2008, following a successful legal challenge, another four parties were permitted to join the contest, making 38 in total. A total of 11,219 candidates vied for seats in the People's Representative Council, and 1,116 candidates vied for seats in the Regional Representative Council. Among the requirements for parties is that 30 percent of candidates are women. The Constitutional Court also lifted the restriction on former members of the Indonesian Communist Party to stand as candidates in the legislative election.
Only parties or coalitions of parties tallying 25 percent of the national vote or winning 112 seats (20 percent) in the 560-member People's Representative Council may nominate a candidate in the presidential election to be held in July 2009. The introduction of a parliamentary threshold also meant that only parties receiving more than 2.5 percent of the popular vote would be seated in the People's Representative Council.
Although the election campaign began on 12 July 2008, before 16 March it was limited to invitation-only meetings, advertisements in the media and the distribution of campaign materials. The public campaign ran until 5 April 2009. Participants in the campaign were banned from calling into question the ideological or constitutional basis of the state as well as its form as a unitary republic. Campaign donations for DPR candidates were limited to one billion Indonesian rupiah from individuals and Rp5 billion from organizations, while the corresponding limits for DPD candidates were Rp250 million from individuals and Rp500 million from organizations.
In contrast to previous parliamentary elections that were closed list, Indonesia instituted an open list system for this election. Individuals campaigned not only as members of their political party but also on their own merits, and some who were not listed at the top of the party's list won seats.
The introduction of a parliamentary threshold rule met objections from smaller political parties. By limiting seating in the People's Representative Council to parties receiving 2.5 percent of the popular vote, smaller parties would be at a disadvantage. A request filed by 11 parties to review the rule was rejected by the Constitutional Court.
On 28 April, lawmakers from six parties in the People's Representative Council submitted a formal proposal to investigate negligence and discrimination during voter registration as the General Election Commission continued to dismiss challenges to results of its vote count. The General Election Commission also requested that any investigation by the Corruption Eradication Commission on the failure of the Rp40 billion (US$3.68 million) electronic vote counting system to be postponed until after presidential elections in July. Despite these allegations, the Constitutional Court declined to open hearing to disputes regarding the voter list.
An investigation by the country's National Commission on Human Rights estimated that between 25 and 40 percent of eligible voters were not able to exercise their constitutional right to vote during the legislative elections. The commission's report pointed out weaknesses in the organizational structure of the General Election Commission and the lack of a budgetary policy for organizing elections.
In order to continue updating the voter registration list for the July presidential election, the Ministry of Finance provided the General Election Commission with an additional Rp19.34 billion (US$1.9 million) in funds.
Polling stations were scheduled to open at 7 am and to remain open until noon local time on 9 April. However, several stations experienced delays with the opening time and had to extend polling hours in order to accommodate voters who had not yet cast their ballots. Each polling station was scheduled to begin counting election results at noon local time and report them to the General Election Commission. Ballot counting continued until 9 May, when the Commission would certify its results.
- Carter Center
- European Union
- International Republican Institute (IRI)
- Australian Embassy to Indonesia
- International Foundation for Electoral Systems
- Embassy of the United States to Indonesia
- Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
- National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
Preliminary results indicated that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party led the popular vote over Golkar, the party of incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri.
It initially appeared that Golkar would enter into a coalition with the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle to challenge the Democratic Party in the July presidential election. However, talks were broken off on 13 April 2009, with Golkar reportedly more interested in continuing the coalition with Yudhoyono rather than risk being cut off from power completely. Yudhoyono was also in talks with Islamist parties in a bid to form a coalition controlling more than half the seats in parliament.
By late April 2009, Golkar was in talks with smaller parties to gain the votes it lacked to be able to nominate Kalla as a presidential candidate. A ten-party coalition was formed on 1 May, consisting of Golkar, the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle, the Great Indonesia Movement Party, the People's Conscience Party, the Prosperous Peace Party, the Reform Star Party, the Ulema National Awakening Party, the National People's Concern Party, the Labor Party and the Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party. Two parties who had been considering joining the coalition, the National Mandate Party and the United Development Party, in the end decided not to join.
The number of registered voters was finalized at 171,265,442, which is a 15.7 percent increase from the 2004 legislative election. This number represents almost 74 percent of the total population of Indonesia A total of 121,588,366 ballots were cast, of which 14.4 percent were declared invalid. According to the General Election Commission, the number of registered votes who did not vote increased from 15.93 percent to 29 percent compared to the previous election.
|Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat, PD)||21,655,295||20.85||148||26.43||+93|
|Party of the Functional Groups (Partai Golongan Karya, Golkar)||15,031,497||14.45||106||18.93||-22|
|Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan, PDI–P)||14,576,388||14.03||94||16.79||-15|
|Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, PKS)||8,204,946||7.88||57||10.18||+12|
|National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional, PAN)||6,273,462||6.01||46||8.21||-7|
|United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, PPP)||5,544,332||5.32||38||6.79||-20|
|National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa, PKB)||5,146,302||4.94||28||5.00||-24|
|Great Indonesia Movement Party (Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya, Gerindra)||4,642,795||4.46||26||4.64||n/a|
|People's Conscience Party (Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat, Hanura)||3,925,620||3.77||17||3.03||n/a|
|Crescent Star Party (Partai Bulan Bintang, PBB)||1,864,642||1.79||0||0.00||-11|
|Ulema National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama, PKNU)||1,527,509||1.47||0||0.00||n/a|
|Prosperous Peace Party (Partai Damai Sejahtera, PDS)||1,522,032||1.48||0||0.00||-13|
|Concern for the Nation Functional Party (Partai Karya Peduli Bangsa, PKPB)||1,461,375||1.40||0||0.00||–2|
|Reform Star Party (Partai Bintang Reformasi, PBR)||1,264,150||1.21||0||0.00||–14|
|National People's Concern Party (Partai Peduli Rakyat Nasional, PPRN)||1,260,950||1.21||0||0.00||n/a|
|Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia, PKPI)||936,133||0.90||0||0.00||–1|
|Democratic Renewal Party (Partai Demokrasi Pembaruan, PDP)||896,959||0.86||0||0.00||n/a|
|National Front Party (Partai Barisan Nasional, Barnas)||760,712||0.73||0||0.00||n/a|
|Indonesian Workers and Employers Party (Partai Pengusaha dan Pekerja Indonesia, PPPI)||745,965||0.72||0||0.00||n/a|
|Democratic Nationhood Party (Partai Demokrasi Kebangsaan, PDK)||671,356||0.64||0||0.00||–4|
|Archipelago Republic Party (Partai Republik Nusantara, PRN)||631,814||0.61||0||0.00||n/a|
|Regional Unity Party (Partai Persatuan Daerah, PPD)||553,299||0.53||0||0.00||±0|
|Patriot Party (Partai Patriot)||547,798||0.53||0||0.00||±0|
|Indonesian National Populist Fortress Party (Partai Nasional Benteng Kerakyatan Indonesia, PNBKI)||468,856||0.45||0||0.00||±0|
|Sovereignty Party (Partai Kedaulatan)||438,030||0.42||0||0.00||n/a|
|Indonesian Youth Party (Partai Pemuda Indonesia, PPI)||415,563||0.40||0||0.00||n/a|
|National Sun Party (Partai Matahari Bangsa, PMB)||415,294||0.40||0||0.00||n/a|
|Functional Party of Struggle (Partai Karya Perjuangan, PKP)||351,571||0.34||0||0.00||n/a|
|Pioneers' Party (Partai Pelopor)||345,092||0.33||0||0.00||–3|
|Indonesian Democratic Party of Devotion (Partai Kasih Demokrasi Indonesia, PKDI)||325,771||0.31||0||0.00||n/a|
|Prosperous Indonesia Party (Partai Indonesia Sejahtera, PIS)||321,019||0.31||0||0.00||n/a|
|Indonesian National Party Marhaenism (Partai Nasional Indonesia Marhaenisme, PNI Marhaenisme)||317,443||0.30||0||0.00||–1|
|Labor Party (Partai Buruh)||265,369||0.25||0||0.00||±0|
|New Indonesia Party of Struggle (Partai Perjuangan Indonesia Baru, PPIB)||198,803||0.19||0||0.00||±0|
|Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party (Partai Persatuan Nahdlatul Ummah Indonesia, PPNUI)||146,831||0.14||0||0.00||±0|
|Indonesian Unity Party (Partai Sarikat Indonesia, PSI)||141,558||0.14||0||0.00||±0|
|Indonesian Democratic Vanguard Party (Partai Penegak Demokrasi Indonesia, PPDI)||139,988||0.13||0||0.00||–1|
|Freedom Party (Partai Merdeka)||111,609||0.11||0||0.00||±0|
|Source: General Election Commission and People's Representative Council website
Note: Seat change totals are displayed only for parties which stood in the previous election, including those which changed party names
|Parties contesting in Aceh only|
|Aceh Party (Partai Aceh)||1,007,713||46.91||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Aceh Sovereignty Party (Partai Daulat Atjeh, PDA)||39,706||1.85||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Independent Voice of the Acehnese Party (Partai Suara Independen Rakyat Aceh, SIRA)||38,157||1.78||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Aceh People's Party (Partai Rakyat Aceh, PRA)||36,574||1.70||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Aceh Unity Party (Partai Bersatu Aceh, PBA)||16,602||0.77||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Prosperous and Safe Aceh Party (Partai Aceh Aman Sejahtera, PAAS)||11,117||0.52||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Source: Edwin Yustian Driyartana (2010) p81  and Sigit Pamungkas (2011) p22, 
Note: Aceh local parties only contested for the regional legislative assemblies, not the DPR. Results are included here for completeness. The remainder of the votes were won by national parties.
Popular vote results were certified as scheduled on 9 May by the General Election Commission, which also announced that only nine parties would gain seats in the People's Representative Council (DPR) based on rules of parliamentary threshold. However, party seating could not be certified immediately after several parties raised concerns over the commission's vote counting methods. Seating distribution were eventually revised on 14 May after the commission admitted to "human error" when displaying the original results. These results will be certified at a later date.
The Constitutional Court began its hearings for approximately 620 election disputes on 18 May. Cases involved both elections for DPR and Regional Representative Council (DPD) candidates. A lawyer for a DPD candidate stated that all but two of the political parties accepted the results of that election in the province of Papua. On 11 June, the Court ordered the General Election Commission to revise its calculations for allocating seats in the DPR on grounds that the Commission has misinterpreted its own regulations. Though the Commission initially refused to abide by the Court's ruling, it reversed its decision less than 24 hours later but would not begin work on the revision before 24 June. As many as 16 candidates who have been declared as victors in their respective districts could lose their seats, including DPR Speaker Agung Laksono.
Election results saw a drop in votes for Islamic parties compared to 2004, when they collected a total of 38 percent of votes. Although 87 percent of Indonesia's population are followers of Islam, the four Islamic parties in this election (the United Development Party, the National Mandate Party, the Prosperous Justice Party, and the National Awakening Party) only collected 24 percent of votes. The Prosperous Justice Party gained 12 seats but fell short of its goal of garnering 15-percent of total votes cast.
In addition to growing concerns for the economy, observers believed that many voters shied away from Islamism after several local elections resulted in victories for Islamic parties. Once elected, these officials began experimenting with sharia, or Islamic law, prompting resistance among the local population. Most notably, legislators had proposed an anti-pornography bill in 2006 to gain the favor of religious groups. However, the bill's vagueness meant that practicing yoga could be construed as a pornographic action. Additionally, several corruption charges were brought against officials representing Islamic parties, which had previously been considered clean compared to other political parties.
The trend of voting for secular parties was not limited to Islam-based parties. The Christianity-based Prosperous Peace Party received only 1.48 percent of votes, and Catholicism-based Indonesian Democratic Party of Devotion received 0.31 percent.
The Democratic Party was the only party to have fulfilled the requirements needed to nominate its own candidates for president and vice president in the July election. It won 150 seats in the People's Representative Council, well over the 112 needed to nominate a candidate. No party met the criterion of achieving 25 percent of the popular vote. By 16 May, three coalitions submitted candidates for the presidential election. The coalition led by the Democratic Party submitted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono as running mates. Golkar and the People's Conscience Party submitted Vice President Jusuf Kalla and retired General Wiranto as running mates. Finally, the coalition led by the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle and the Great Indonesia Movement Party submitted former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and retired General Prabowo Subianto as running mates.
Members of the new legislature took the oath of office on 1 October for a five-year term in an inauguration ceremony whose cost was estimated at US$4.7 million. The DPR elected Marzuki Alie of the Democratic Party as its Speaker and announced a total of nine factions in the legislature. West Sumatra representative Irman Gusman was elected chairman of the DPD for the new five-year term. At the same time, several party coalitions discussed nominations for MPR Chairman, including Taufiq Kiemas, husband of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He was elected to the position on 3 October after receiving support from all nine political parties which was allocated seats in the DPR. The majority of DPD members walked out of the election after a proposal for two of the four deputy seats to be allocated solely to DPD members was rejected.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indonesian legislative election, 2009.|
- (Indonesian) General Election Commission Media Center
- (Indonesian) Kompas's Political Party Guide
- Indonesian General Elections 2009 Web Archive from the U.S. Library of Congress