Stopping direct elections a threat to democracy, says Jokowi

Stopping direct elections a threat to democracy, says Jokowi

President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Monday that a proposal by the Red-and-White Coalition that regional heads be elected by regional legislative councils (DPRDs) was a threat to democracy.

He said he did not understand the coalition's reasoning that holding direct elections cost a large chunk of the state budget and increased the possibility of electoral fraud.

He argued that shortcomings in the direct election system should be resolved.

"Stopping direct elections would be a set-back for the country," he said in Jakarta on Monday as quoted

He said, however, he would not intervene in the matter but let the House of Representatives discuss it.

Prior to the July 9 presidential election, members of the Red-and-White Coalition agreed that the direct election system should be maintained in discussions on the election bill (RUU).

But soon after the Constitutional Court declared Jokowi the winner of the presidential election on Aug.21, the coalition reneged on its pledge and is now seeking to do away with direct elections, echoing reform policies floated by Prabowo Subianto during his campaign.

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