Since 2004, Indonesia has held 5-yearly national elections for the positions of president and vice president. This has been a promising step forward in a maturing democracy. However, a restriction was imposed that nomination of presidential candidates can only be made made by political parties with parliamentary representation above some minimum level—the “minimum threshold”. That threshold is relatively high, meaning that since 2009, there has only ever been two candidates for president in the elections, each backed by coalitions led by the dominant establishment parties. This paper discusses the workings of the minimum threshold and argues that it undermines democratic principles, having the effect of preserving and strengthening the power of the strongest political parties at the expense of new or emerging voices. We also propose an alternative approach that delivers the desired broader democratic voice.
- candidate nomination
- Indonesia democracy
- minimum threshold
- political parties and democracy
- presidential nominations