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Democracy index up for Indonesia, Jakarta tops the chart

Jakarta Globe - July 29, 2019

Antara & Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democracy Index, or IDI, improved slightly in 2018 from the year before, the Central Statistics Agency announced on Monday. The index is an indicator of democratic progress in the world's third-largest democracy with a population of more than 260 million.

The data for the index are gathered by the agency, known as the BPS, related ministries and a dedicated group of experts. "The IDI went up from 72.11 in 2017 to 72.39 in 2018, and increase of 0.28 points," BPS head Suhariyanto said in Jakarta on Monday.

The number represented improvements in civil freedom, political rights and democratic institutions in Indonesia.

"Different elements [in the index] showed different trends. [In 2018] the IDI for democratic institutions improved from 72.49 to 75.25," Suhariyanto said.

But other indicators showed the country is experiencing somewhat of a setback in democracy. The index recorded lower scores in "political participation in decision making" (54.28), "roles of Regional Houses of Representatives" (58.92) and "roles of regional governments" (55.74).

Between 2009 and 2013, the IDI had remained "dynamic," fluctuating at around 60 points. In 2014, the index shot up to beyond 70 for the first time.

"We've experienced a significant increase in the index in the past five years, even though category-wise we're still 'moderate,'" Suhariyanto said.

Jakarta still had the highest democracy index in the country in 2018, a "good" 85.08. "This was up 0.35 points from the previous year," Suhariyanto said.

Jakarta notched up the highest scores in civil freedom (95.09) and democratic agency (87.82). It did slightly worse in politics, scoring a "moderate" 75.43.

Bali (82.37) and East Nusa Tenggara (82.32) were second- and third-placed in the index. West Papua scored the lowest IDI last year with 58.29.

Maj. Gen. Wawan Kustiawan, the political coordination and home affairs deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, said the IDI should be used as a benchmark for regional governments to improve democracy in their areas.

"What all of us should strive for is a dignified, just democracy based on the [national ideology] Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution," Wawan said in a statement on Monday.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/context/democracy-index-up-for-indonesia-jakarta-tops-the-chart