Parliamentary Chamber: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat


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  Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  29 May 1997

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 7 March, the final list of candidates for the 425 elective seats of the House of Representatives were approved; these numbered 2,289. They belonged to the ruling Golkar, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) - the three political organisations legally authorised to contest the legislative poll.

During the one-month campaign which opened on 27 April, violent incidents led to over 200 deaths and regulations limited use of the mass media. Golkar, led by President of the Republic (since 1968) Haji Mohamed Suharto, announced that its objective was to win 70% of the popular vote. The President urged all eligible citizens to vote so that the country could accelerate its economic development and consolidate democracy; he defended the official controls on the political system as essential for stability, peace, national unity and the rapid economic growth needed to provide more jobs and raise living standards. Final individual contestants did not include Ms. Megawati Sukarnoputri, the outspoken former leader of the PDI, who was barred from running.

In contrast to the pre-election period, polling day - which was combined with voting at the local level - was largely peaceful. Procedures were monitored by an independent national group. Final results gave Golkar - which has strong backing from the Government, the bureaucracy and the military - a landslide victory, as it exceeded its stated goal with over 74% of the vote and 325 seats. The Muslim-oriented PPP, led by Mr. Ismail Hasan Metareum - captured 89 seats (a gain of 27) while the Christian-nationalist PDI slipped badly compared to its previous (1992) showing, going from 56 to 11 seats. Analysts attributed this outcome, above all, to Golkar's overwhelming control of all sectors at all levels of society; it has not lost a general election since 1971.

In March 1998, Parliament will meet together with the People's Consultative Assembly to elect the President and Vice-President of the Republic and approve Government policy.

Round no 1 (29 May 1997): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 124,740,987
Voters 110,938,069 (88.93%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Golkar 82,394,419 74.27
United Development Party (PPP) 25,135,647 22.66
Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) 3,308,003 3.07

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Golkar 325
United Development Party (PPP) 89
Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) 11

  The other 75 members are appointed

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 443
Women: 57

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21-30 years 3
31-40 years 51
41-50 years 134
51-65 years 310
Over 65 years 2

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Copyright 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Union