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Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (House of Representatives)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat / House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 April 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the House of Representatives on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The 2009 parliamentary elections were held three months ahead of the presidential elections. At stake were the 560 seats in the enlarged House of Representatives.

In the previous elections held in April 2004, Golkar, the party of former President Suharto, came in first, winning 122 of the then 550-member House of Representatives. The Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), led by then President Megawati Sukarnoputri took 109 seats. Other major parties that won parliamentary representation were the United Development Party (PPP, 58 seats), the Democratic Party (PD, 56), the National Mandate Party (PAN, 53), the National Awakening Party (PKB, 52) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS, 45). In September 2004, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (PD) defeated Ms. Megawati in the run-off presidential elections.

In March 2008, the House of Representatives passed a new General Election Law, whereby parties must win 2.5 cent of the national vote to win parliamentary representation. Parties which contested the previous elections were automatically qualified for the 2009 ballot while other parties had to submit to the scrutiny of the General Elections Commission (KPU).

Indonesia's election campaign lasts nearly for nine months. It started on 12 July 2008 and ended on 5 April 2009. Some 12,000 candidates representing 38 parties were running nationwide. They included about 360 women. The 2005 Helsinki Agreement, signed between the Government and the rebel Free Aceh Movement (GAM), paved the way for the establishment of local political parties in Aceh. In addition to the 38 political parties, six local parties were running in Aceh.

The 2009 parliamentary elections were the first crucial step in the race for the presidency since the new law on presidential elections (No. 42/2008) stipulates that only parties or a coalition of parties with 20 per cent of seats in the 560-seat House of Representatives or 25 per cent of valid votes may nominate a candidate for the presidential elections.

Despite the global economic crisis, the country's economy did not enter into a recession. Many parties nevertheless focused on the economy.

President Yudhoyono's PD reportedly fared well thanks to his popularity. He called on voters' support to continue his reformist policies, arguing that his government was taking sufficient measures to protect the country from the economic downturn. Indonesia's foreign investment regulations allow for limited capital ownership, and the PD promised equal treatment of local and foreign investors. The PDI-P said it would welcome foreign investors in the country "as long as they are clean and willing to transfer their technology". Golkar, led by Vice-President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, promised to extend the range of business open to foreign investors. It also pledged to provide welfare and a livelihood to "all struggling people".

Some Islamic parties - such as the PKS, the PAN and the PKB - adopted more moderate positions to attract voters. However, that strategy reportedly caused internal divisions among the PKS. Other Islamic parties which had won seats in the 2004 elections - the PPP and Crescent Moon and Star Party (PBB, 11 seats) - were reportedly losing ground. PDI-P leader Megawati held talks with the PPP while the PD engaged with the PKB. Pre-election polls indicated that only the PD would secure over 25 per cent of the votes nationwide.

A number of organizations filed lawsuits against the government, the Interior Ministry and the KPU, related to voters' lists. At least 10 million citizens were reportedly disenfranchised. More than 1,000 electoral violations were reported, twice the number recorded in 2004.

70.99 per cent of the 174 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

Several opposition parties, including the PDI-P, criticized the elections, arguing that they had been marred with fraud and administrative errors.

On 9 May, the KPU announced the final results. President Yudhoyono's PD won 20.85 per cent of the votes, or 148 seats. Golkar followed with 14.45 per cent of the votes (108 seats). The PDI-P finished in third position with 14.03 per cent (93 seats).

The Islamic parties won a total of 24.15 per cent of votes, their worst showing in the country's history. The local media concluded that many voters focused more on growth and jobs in the midst of the global economic crisis.

On 1 October, the newly elected House of Representatives held its first session and elected Mr. Marzuki Alie (PD) as its new Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 19 April 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
121'588'366 (70.99%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democrats Party (PD) 21'703'137 20.85
Golkar 15'037'757 14.45
Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle (PDI-P) 14'600'091 14.03
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) 8'206'955 7.88
National Mandate Party (PAN) 6'254'580 6.01
United Development Party (PPP) 5'533'215 5.32
Great Indonesia Movement Party 4'646'406 4.46
National Awakening Party (PKB) 5'146'122 4.94
People's Conscience Party 3'922'870 3.77
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Democrats Party (PD) 148
Golkar 108
Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle (PDI-P) 93
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) 59
National Mandate Party (PAN) 42
United Development Party (PPP) 39
Great Indonesia Movement Party 30
National Awakening Party (PKB) 26
People's Conscience Party 15
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: House of Representatives (26.05.2009, 05.10.2009, 21.01.2010, 19.12.2011, 07.11.2012)

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