Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Baswedan laments election law

Mon, 11/10/2008 11:09 AM | People

JP/Matheos V. MessakhJP/Matheos V. Messakh

JAKARTA: Academic Anies R. Baswedan is not happy. He claims that the newly enacted law on presidential elections, which makes it tougher to nominate a candidate, shows that major political parties are still trying to maintain their grip on the country.

"It's wouldn't be a big problem if the country's political parties had served as good vehicles for political recruitment. But we know from many regional elections that they're not," he said.

Anies was included on the U.S. based Foreign Policy magazine's prestigious list of 100 top world public intellectuals, published in its May-June edition. He shares the company of global pundits including Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama and Nobel laureates Al Gore and Muhammad Yunus.

The new law on presidential elections requires a party or a coalition of parties to win at least 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives or 25 percent of the popular vote to be eligible to nominate a candidate.

The Paramadina University rector, who is the country's youngest university rector, said the country should allow greater opportunities for the emergence of new candidates. "The country needs new reformers," he said. -- JP/Matheos V. Messakh

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