Legal Framework

Indonesia is a representative republic whereby the President is both the head of State and government. The amended 1945 Constitution of Indonesia is the foundation for the country’s system of government and provides for a separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

The fall of Haji Muhammad Suharto in 1998 and the beginning of the reform (Reformasi) movement resulted in significant amendments to the constitution, which impacted all three branches of government; added important human rights provisions; and, for the first time, inserted the concept of “elections” into the constitution.

The legislative framework governing democratic representation is complex and involves six laws:

∙ Law 15/2011 governing election management bodies

∙ Law 8/2012 governing legislative elections

∙ Law 42/2008 governing presidential elections

∙ Law 32/2004 governing regional administration (including local elections)

∙ Law 2/2011 governing political parties

∙ Law 27/2009 governing the structure of national and sub-national legislatures

According to Article 55 in Election Law No.8/2012, at least one in every three candidates on a political party’s list must be a woman. Political parties will be barred from competing in any electoral district in which their candidate list does not meet this quota.

All twelve contesting parties met this quota at the national level—of 6,576 candidates submitted by the parties for verification, 2,434 were women.[i]At the local level, however, parties have had more difficulty meeting this requirement. The Election Commission and the Election Supervisory Body have taken this issue very seriously and have ensured that the rule is strictly observed.

Electoral laws in Indonesia can change with little warning. In 2009, for example, just thirty-six hours before the presidential election, the Constitutional Court ruled that citizens who were not registered to vote could still do so as long as they could produce a national identity card, family card, or passport.

Indonesia has signed and ratified key international instruments relating to the conduct of elections, including UN Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.



Elections in Indonesia 2014: National Legislative Elections Frequently Asked Questions, IFES (2014)

Vikram Mehru and Nadia Bulkin, How Indonesia’s 2014 Elections will Work, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 24, 2013,

Resources :


PDF : The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia (As amended by the First Amendment of 1999, the Second Amendment of 2000, the Third Amendment of 2001 and the Fourth Amendment of 2002)

Election Law

PDF : Law Number 8. on General Election of the Members of the House of Representative, People’s Representative Council and Regional House of Representatives (2012)
PDF : Law on Political Parties- the Amendment to Law No 2 of 2008 on Political Parties
PDF : Law no. 8/2012 on General Election of the Members of House of Representatives, People’s Representatives Council and Regional House of Representatives
PDF : Collection of Election Laws (National Election Commission: 1999)

Election Decree

PDF : Decree of National Election Commission 2004 on Procedure for Recapitulation of Votes
PDF : Decree of National Election Commission 2004 on Voting and Vote Counting at Polling Stations
PDF : Decree of the National Election Commission 2004 on Overseas Ballot Casting and Ballot Counting
PDF : The Decree no. 31 of 2004 Concerning Technical Guidance for the Evaluation of the Mental and Physical Competence of Pairs of Candidates for President and Vice-President for the General Election of the President and Vice-President of 2004
PDF : The Decree no. 2 of 2004 on the Procedure for Ballot Casting and Ballot Counting for Indonesian Citizens Overseas
PDF : Decree of the Election Supervisory Committee no. 13/ 2003 on Dispute Resolution MechanismDecree of the Election Supervisory Committee no. 13/ 2003 on Dispute Resolution Mechanism
PDF : Decree no. 38 of 2004 on Procedure for the Recapitulation of Voters Obtained at the General Election of the President and Vice-President by Village Election Committee, Sub-District Election Commission, Provincial Electotion Commission and the National Election Commission

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