“Multipartyism will prevent the emergence of neo-authoritarian, dominant parties,” said the political scientist Marcus Mietzner during a lecture about the 2009 elections at NIMD on 11 June 2008.
This year Indonesia celebrated the 10th anniversary of democracy after forty years of authoritarianism under Sukarno and Suharto. After a messy transition phase (1998-2004) Indonesia’s multiparty democracy has now stabilized.
In 2009 Indonesia will elect a new parliament and president. Dr. Mietzner, who is a political scientist and international expert on Indonesian political parties, predicted no substantial changes in the current competitive party system. Despite recent reforms of the electoral law the political system will continue to be characterized by a strong president and a parliament with many political parties (“extreme multipartyism”). After the elections parties are forced to build a rainbow coalition, as no party will obtain a majority in parliament.
Political parties are stable, but unpopular, due to corruption and bad performance. In view of this Mietzner pointed out to the positive development of a new generation of (young) political activists who are entering politics. They are joining existing parties, rather than founding new ones, which could contribute to improving the parties' performance and change from within.
Some 30 people attended his lecture at NIMD.
About Marcus Mietzner
The political scientist Marcus Mietzner is an expert on political parties in Indonesia and the military. He has been working in and on Indonesia for more than 15 years. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at KILTV (Koninklijk Instituut voor Land, Taal- en Volkenkunde; Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) in Leiden.