The Local Election Amidst the Oligarchs

Case Study Jayapura Regency of Indonesia’s Local Election in 2017

  • Nur Hidayat Sardini Diponegoro University, Indonesia
Keywords: the role of local oligarchs, electoral integrity, structured, systematic and massive violations


This article scrutinizes the phenomenon of Local Government Election (Local election) of a regency at the easternmost province in Indonesia, Jayapura Regency of Papua. During the election period, there was a great number of violations against election rules which were not only sporadic but also designed on a structured, systematic and massive scale – using the term of Indonesian Constitutional Courts. The violations were related to the role of the oligarchs who cooperatively worked hand in hand to win the political contestation. The activities of the oligarchs which involved clerical-technical issues are undoubtedly prohibited by the Law of Pilkada. The clerical-technical issues include unlawful activities such as replacing some officials of polling station a day before the election, manipulating the official report documents like voting and the calculation of the votes forms, certificates of results and holographic forms of the votes calculation details and records of the results of valid vote calculation at the polling stations in massive numbers. In the Jayapura Regency Election, it is found that the practice of the election administration regime is defied by an electoral shadow structure played by the Oligarchs. Thus, this article argues that the political decentralization results in a powerful control of the local oligarchs on the Local Elections which must be solved for the sake of Indonesia’s democratization.