Indonesia held its held its first legislative elections in 1955, when it elected representatives to the People's Representative Council. Five major parties participated, including the Indonesian Comunist Party, which was latter banned.
This year we are getting ready for our 10th round of legislative elections. On April 9, 2009, we will elect 132 people to reprensent us in the Regional Representatives Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah), and 560 people to represent us in the People's Representatives Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat). A major difference since 1955 is the number of parties participating. Forty -four parties are putting up candidates for these seats.Once new members are elected to these two national councils, they togethers form the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat), which is the highest legislative body of Indonesia.The General Elections Commission which oversees the whole election show, keeps records of all registered voters. They have reported 171,558,775 people are eligible to cast ballots, including 1,502,892 voters who live and work outside of Indonesia.Presidential elections determine who will lead the executive branch. Only two months after the general elections, Indonesians will again be asked to go the polls, on July 8 to be exact, to choose a president and a vice president for the 2009-2014 term of office.After President Suharto's resignation in May 1998, the number of people who have stepped up to be presidential candidates soared. Fifteen diffrent candidates will compete this year for the presidency, including the incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice President Jusuf Kalla abd former President Megawati Soekarnoputri. But you do not have to be a national leader to run. The actress, playwright and activist Ratna Sarumpaet is also running for the highest office in the land.

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