Wednesday, April 24, 2013


  Jakarta, April 24, 2013 (Antara) - Indonesia is currently gearing up for  legislative elections which will be held on April 9, 2014, to elect 560 lawmakers to sit in the House of Representatives (DPR).
        Local general election commission (KPU) offices are currently also busy collecting and verifying lists of candidates for legislative elections at the district/city levels such as in  Padang (West Sumatra), Kubu Raya (West Kalimantan), Manado (North Sulawesi), Sumenep (Madura, East Java), and Bantul (Yogyakarta).

       At the national level, last Monday (April 22, 2013) was deadline for political parties to submit provisional lists of legislative candidates to the National General Elections Commission (KPU) in Jakarta.
         The KPU had earlier set a period for the submission of the provisional lists of legislative candidates, from April 9 to April 22, 2013.
         The KPU is now verifying the completeness of the legislative candidates' administrative requirements from April 23 to May 6, 2013. Candidates whose dossiers are not yet complete will be given a chance to complete them from May 9 to May 22.
         The Commission will confirm candidates for the Parliament (DPR), the provincial legislative assembly (DPRD I) and the district/city legislative assembly (DPRD II) from May 30 to June 12.
         An important aspect that political parties have to meet in listing their legislative candidates is the representation of women in the lists of the candidates.
        According to article 55 in the Electoral Law 10/2008, regarding elections to the Indonesian Parliament, "at least one in every three candidates included on a political party list should be women."
   It is expected that by applying this acquisition, political parties may fulfill the 30 percent quota for women, both in the national and local parliaments, in line with international agreements.
         Upon receiving the lists, KPU are supposed to inform the media about  political parties that fail to fulfill the quota for women. 
    Of the 34 political parties verified by the KPU, 15 parties consisting of 12 national-level political parties and three local parties, have been declared eligible to participate in the general elections next year.
          The 12 parties are National Democratic Party (Nasdem), National Awakening Party (PKB), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Golkar Party, Gerindra, Democratic Party (PD), National Mandate Party (PAN), United Development Party (PPP), Hanura, Crescent and Star Party (PBB), and Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI). 
    The three local parties are Aceh's Peace Party (PDA), Aceh's National Party (PNA),  and Aceh Party (PA)  - all of them are in the special autonomous province of Aceh Darussalam, Indonesia's northern most province.
          KPU have received from the 12 political parties provisional lists containing a total of 6,576 candidates consisting of 2,434 women and 4,142 men, according to KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik in Jakarta on April 22, 2013.  
   All 12 parties have met the quota of at least 30 percent for women, he said.
        The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) which was the first party to submit the list, proposed 492 legislative candidates comprising 299 men and 193 women or about 38 percent.
          "The female candidates are the chosen ones,  have good quality and competency , so they will not just sit nicely at the parliament building, but they will give significant contributions to the people," Chairperson of PKS'ss Women Affairs Department  Anis Byarwati said recently.
        For the National Democrat (NasDem), which is a new party, of its total 560 legislative candidates,  223 people or 39.82 percent are women, according to the party's Secretary General Patrice Rio Capella in Jakarta on April 22, 2013.
        About 70 percent of the candidates, who are from 77 electoral districts, are young men/women under 50 and new faces that have never had legislative seats before.
        "We hope the young men/women and new comers could bring change to
the nation," she said.
         The ruling Democratic Party (PD) is targeting minimally the same number of seats it currently has in the House of Representatives, in the legislative elections next year, the party's executive chairman Syarief Hassan said recently.     
  "Our target is minimally the same number of seats as we won in the last legislative elections, namely totaling 148," he said when submitting the list of its candidates for the elections next year to the KPU on April 21, 2013. Of the PD's 560 candidates, 206 people or 37 percent are women.
       Golkar Party, the runner up of the last general elections in 2009, nominated 560 candidates including 202 women, and 216 of them are from the younger generation, according to the party's secretary general, Idrus Marham.
         Hanura Party submitted files of its candidates totaling 361 men and 199 women for the legislative elections to the KPU on April 21, 2013.
         The party's general chairman, Wiranto, said "we are able to submit women candidates up to 36 percent surpassing the quota which is set at 30 percent."
    The retired general also said that most of the candidates are from the younger generation aged between 40 and 50 years old.
         Wiranto hoped the party could finish third in the elections next year. Hanura finished ninth in the last legislative elections in 2009.
         The National Mandate Party (PAN) proposed 208 women or 37 percent of its total 560 legislative candidates.
         PAN  Deputy Chairman Dradjad Wibowo said his party has a strong commitment to promoting women by putting their names in the first rank in the candidates' lists in 20 electoral districts.
          The National Awakening Party (PKB), the last to submit the list to KPU, also has women constituting 37.5 percent of its total candidates. The female candidates includes famous actress and model Arzetti Bilbina.
         The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI)'s Secretary General Tjahjo Kumolo when submitting its list, told the media that of the its total 560 candidates, 32 percent are women.
         Islam-based Crescent and Star Party (PBB) has 37.9 percent of women in its total 550 candidates,  according to the party's secretary general, BM Wibowo.
          The youngest or newest party, Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) proposed 511 candidates including 185 women or 36.20 percent, said the party's chairman, Sutiyoso, former Jakarta's governor.
         Gerindra founded by retired general Prabowo, has allocated more than 35 percent for women in its list of legislative candidates.
        If at the national level, all of the 12 political parties have been able to fulfill the quota for women, it does not always apply at the regional level.      
   In East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, for instance, several political parties  have claimed that they have difficulties in meeting the 30-percent quota.
        Chairman of the PBB's NTT chapter, Ahmad Syarif, said in Kupang recently that there were several obstacles facing the party in trying to fulfill the  the 30-percent quota.
         One of the problems is the fact that many women are not interested in politics and therefore it is very difficult to find the right women to be legislative candidates, he stated.
         Because of the problem, a number of male politicians are forced to  propose their relatives including their wives or sisters to become candidates in the 2014 legislative elections.
         Currently, of Indonesia's total population of over 245 million people, women occupy around 18.2 seats in the House of Representatives (DPR) based on the results of the 2009 general elections. While, based on the World Bank 2011 data, women constitute 50.14 percent of the country's total population.
         Previously, from the 2004 general elections, the representation of women in the Indonesian parliament was just almost 11 percent.
        The United Nations (UN) reported that at present women constitute 20.4 percent of the members of parliaments around the world.    
   Today, Rwanda superseded Sweden at the number one in the world in terms of women's parliamentary representation, namely 56.3 percent women against Sweden's 47.3 percent.
         Rwanda is an example of the new trend to use electoral gender quotas as a fast track to gender balance in politics, according to the UN report. ***1***
(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/A/A. Abdussalam) 25-04-2013 00:05:34

No comments:

Post a Comment