Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


The Role of the Law in Safeguarding Electoral Democracy in Indonesia

Author(s): Khairul Fahmi, Saldi Isra, Zainal Arifin Muchtar, Tegnan Hilaire

Indonesia’s democracy based on the law, is aimed at achieving social justice and welfare for all Indonesian people. Following the amendment of the 1945 Constitution, the Indonesian electoral democracy shifted to a very liberal direction whereby officials are elected in office mainly on procedural and financial bases. While notions such as merit, competency, integrity and morality are only supporting elements. Consequently, the law seems to be a mere tool for legitimizing such a liberal system, which tends to harm the sovereignty of the Indonesian people. This study seeks to answer the question as to what extent electoral laws in Indonesia contribute in safeguarding electoral democracy to help achieve some of the core values enshrined in the 1945 Constitution. The study reveals that electoral laws are not contributing in building a real and efficient electoral democracy in Indonesia. The study shows that the role of electoral laws is increasingly small in ensuring that candidates are elected by the people on the basic of merit, competency, high integrity and morality, instead of money.