Regional head elections must be made more transparent: Kode Initiative

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Violla Reininda, acting chairman of the Constitution and Democracy (Kode) Initiative, has encouraged the Ministry of Home Affairs to develop a more open procedure for appointing acting regional heads in the future.

“The ministry needs to modify the techniques or paradigm for selecting acting regional head candidates,” she stated on Friday during a virtual debate titled “Military Official Becomes Acting Regional Head Pro-Anti.”

“The public and constituents in the regions do not know who will replace the regional head job,” she added during the Formappi and Lima discussion.

Making the system transparent will connect the process of selecting acting regional head candidates with democratic values, she argued.

So far, the government’s selection of acting regional leaders has lacked democratic elements such as transparency and public input, according to Reininda.

“The existing procedure (of selecting acting regional leaders) is still far from democratic,” she pointed out.

“As a result, while there is still time to rectify it, please fix it so that the rules and techniques correspond with democratic values,” she wrote.

She went on to say that a firm mandate from President Joko Widodo is required to ensure that the ministry incorporates democratic norms when electing acting regional heads.

President Widodo can thus leave a positive legacy in terms of safeguarding democracy in Indonesia until his term expires in 2024.

Aside from the election of acting regional heads, the Kode Initiative is also advocating for public participation in the rewriting of the Job Creation Law.

Reininda stated in a statement made on Wednesday that this participation should take the form of giving the public with access to the whole document detailing the law’s formation and time proportionality.

Furthermore, the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government should make an effort to actively invite and include the public.

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