The trend in Indonesiaâ€™s five post-Soeharto elections has been to make it progressively more difficult to register smaller parties and win parliamentary seats. The requirements to register parties have become more onerous and the threshold for gaining legislative representation has risen with almost each election and currently sits at 4%. This has meant fewer parties are able to contest elections, particularly if they lack wealthy supporters. One section of the community which has been affected by these restrictions has been the Islamists, those Muslims who want to bring Islamic principles and law into public life. Of the four Islamic parties that now hold seats in parliament, none claims to be Islamist, though arguably at least two â€“ the Prosperous Justice Party and the United Development Party â€“ have Islamist tendencies. There is no voice for more doctrinaire Islamists in parliament due to the small party restrictions. This article examines these electoral restrictions and Indonesiaâ€™s spectrum of Islamist parties and movements. It makes the case for lowering the registration requirements and legislative thresholds for small parties so that Islamists and other minority communities can gain better representation. The article places this discussion in the context of the Inclusion-Moderation Thesis.
|Indonesian Journal of Political Research
|Published - 2020