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Indonesia in Pieces

The Downside of Decentralization

Author: Elizabeth Pisani
July/August 2014
Foreign Affairs


In April, voters in Indonesia's parliamentary elections shocked many observers, confounded most pollsters, and seemed to set back their own long-term interests by failing to deliver a massive victory to the main opposition party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. Under the country's complex electoral rules, a party must win 25 percent of the popular vote (or 20 percent of the seats in parliament) before it can formally nominate a presidential candidate.

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