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Jakarta shifts to single-round gubernatorial elections to avoid social tension

Jakarta Globe - March 18, 2024

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The Indonesian House of Representatives' Legislative Body and the government has agreed to change the rules for the Jakarta Gubernatorial election.

Instead of requiring a 50+1 majority vote, the election will now be decided in a single-round election where the candidate with the majority vote is declared the winner.

This decision was made during a discussion meeting regarding the draft of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta Bill (RUU DKJ) held at the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Monday.

Supratman Andi Agtas, Chairman of the Legislative Body, clarified that in the Jakarta Regional Election, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes from the public will emerge as the winner.

"In the current law, the winner of the regional election follows the same principle as the presidential election, which requires a 50+1 majority vote. However, the government's proposal removes this requirement. This means the election process will be similar to other regional elections, where the candidate with the most votes wins," Supratman explained.

Supratman further emphasized that the decision to hold a single-round Jakarta Regional Election took into account various factors, including the risk of societal division.

The 2017 Jakarta Election witnessed tensions arising from racial and religious issues, particularly between the incumbent Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is of Chinese-Indonesian descent, and Anies Baswedan, who garnered support from predominantly Muslim voters, resulting in Anies's victory in the second round.

Supratman expressed hope that conducting a single-round election would help minimize social tensions.

During the meeting, Suhajar Diantoro, Secretary-General of the Home Affairs Ministry, disclosed that the proposal for a single-round regional election was based on the Regional Election Law and its successful implementation in other regions.

"As such, it adheres to the regulations governing regional head elections, consistent with practices in other special regions," Suhajar stated.

He also noted that similar election procedures have been implemented in other special regions such as Aceh and Papua, where candidates are elected based on a one-time election and the majority vote determines the winner.

After the presidential and legislative elections, Indonesia is gearing up for another colossal election to elect governors in 38 provinces, regents in 416 regencies, and mayors in 98 cities across the country on November 27.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/jakarta-shifts-to-singleround-gubernatorial-elections-to-avoid-social-tensio