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Presidentialism and Political Parties in Indonesia: Why Are All Parties Not Presidentialized?

Discussion Papers


March 2013


This paper analyzes whether the “presidentialization of political parties” is occurring in newly democratizing Indonesia, as argued by Samuels and Shugart (2010). In Indonesia not all parties are becoming presidentialized. Parties are presidentialized when they have a solid organizational structure and have the potential to win presidential elections. Parties established by a presidential candidate need not face an incentive incompatibility between their executive and legislative branches, since the party leader is not the “agent” but the “principal”. On the other hand, small and medium-sized parties, which have few prospects of winning presidential elections, are not actively involved in the election process, therefore party organization is not presidentialized. As the local level, where the head of government has been directly elected by the people since 2005 in Indonesia, the presidentialization of political parties has begun to take place.

Keywords: presidentialism, political party, election, Indonesia

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