Local government election is where to select office holders in local government like mayors and councillors. The elective system in a local government is a system in choosing the representative, or the person who lead the local government. An assistant professor of South and Southeast Asian studies, Jeffrey Hadler once said that these local elections are important (Pann, 2005). Local government offers chances for democratic experimentation, innovation and reform that may not be available in higher levels. Local government requires forms of electoral representation that are different from other levels. It is important to designed the electoral system in a way that candidates can strength the ties to the particular localities because the representatives are usually elected by the local. The small size of locality such as province, city, or town can bring more ease to the local legislator to represent the territory. The elective system in local government brings a sense of involvement in the process of electing the mayors and the councillors. Local electoral system is a system in which the eligible people participate actively in determining who governs them and shaping the policy output of their government. ?
2.0 THE ELECTIVE SYSTEM IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF THAILAND
Decentralization has exist in Thailand in the end of 1990s. There are 76 provinces in Thailand, or known as changwat. Thailand local governments are classified into two main categories, which is in general and special. Under general, there are three types of local government which are Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO), municipalities and Tambon Administrative Organization (TAO) (M.Bernan, 2011). Those forms of local government are divided into two tiers. The lower-tier government are municipalities and TAO. They functioned as a single operating unit and very close to local citizen. The municipality are located in urban area and TAO are usually established in rural areas. PAO is the upper-tier local government which covers entire province and functioned in services that cross the boundaries of any single municipality or TAO. There are two specific form of local government, which is in certain localities, namely Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the City of Pattaya (M.Bernan, 2011).
In Thailand, each of the local government consists of the executive and the legislative branch. Municipal government originated in 1993, and consists of 3 types, city level, town level and sub-district level. The executive branch led by a mayor, and the legislative branch led by municipal council in municipality. The members of assembly and the mayor are directly elected by local citizen. As for PAO and TAO, the executive branch led by administrative organization chief and the legislative branch led by an administrative organization council. Similar to municipal, local citizen are responsible to elect the members of PAO assembly directly. The chair and the deputy chair will be elected for 2-year term during the assembly meeting. The chairman is the head of PAO, and is directly elected by local constituencies. The chairman is responsible to choose the deputy based on the assembly numbers. Under TAO, TAO council are elected directly from the village, which is 2 from each village located in the area of TAO and the chief is directly elected by local constituencies (M.Bernan, 2011).
In specific local government such in Pattaya, the executive branch is led by Mayor of Pattaya and legislative branch is led by the Councillors of Pattaya. Both of the position is also directly elected by the Pattaya local citizen. The councillors of Pataya then will select 1 assembly chairman, and 2 deputy assembly chairman. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, the executive branch is led by Governor of Bangkok and the legislative branch is led by Council of Bangkok. Both mayor and council is directly elected by local citizen. The council is responsible to select 1 chairman of assembly and more than 2 deputy assembly chairman with 2-year term. In addition, the territory in Bangkok is separated into districts. The government of each district is divided into the executive and the legislative branch, led by a district director and the district council. Each district is separated into sub districts, The sub district head led each of the sub district (Fumio Nagai, 2009). The Governor of Bangkok from amongst the Bangkok metropolitan officers is responsible to appoints the district directors and the sub district heads in Bangkok, meanwhile the citizen are responsible to directly elect the district councillors in Bangkok (Fumio Nagai, 2009).
In short, the local administrators are elected by local residents. The electoral term is four years in Thailand’s local governments (Thomas, 2011). A by-election will be held in the corresponding constituency if a councillor positions is vacant. If a mayor position becomes vacant, a new election for four year term is held. The elections for council and mayors are not necessary must be held on the same date.
For example, decentralization was a major issue in the general election in September 1992. Pro-democracy parties seeks to introduce the direct election of provincial governors, who had been traditionally appointed by the central government. They also voicing out to grant the status of a local autonomous entity to the Tambon council. The idea of electing the provincial governors using popular vote is opposed by the Ministry of interior. It is because traditionally, the position is granted to the ministry officials as the highest post that they could hold. For this reason, the coalition government that has power in that time ignored the issue. The idea of granting autonomous status to the Tambon council was realized when the ruling coalition parties reached a compromise that led to the establishment of the Tambon Council and Tambon Administrative Act 1994. Most Tambon Council in Thailand gained autonomous status under the act. The direct election has started to be realized under the power of Prime Minister Thaksin. He recognized the rural electors as capable and viable voters and opened for political participation of rural electorate on national level (M.Bernan, 2011).
3.0 THE ELECTIVE SYSTEM IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA
Decentralization adapted in Indonesia since 1999 under Law 22/1999 on regional autonomy then being revised from time to time and the latest revision of this law under the enactment of Law The structure of local government in Indonesia is divided into 34 provinces with 504 regencies or municipalities. The municipal in rural areas are called as Kabupaten, meanwhile the municipal in cities are called as Kota. There are 6994 districts which known as Kacamatan under these municipalities. Under districts, there are 81253 villages. The villages in cities are called as Kelurahan and the villages in rural area called as Desa. Formal local elections organized by the election commission are called as Regional Head Elections (Pemilukada). The regional head elections held the responsibility as the commity that managed the whole process for local election in Indonesia. For the local level they will have three type of election which is Governor-vice Governor, Regent-vice Regent and Mayor-vice Mayor elections. These elections applying the First-Past-The-Post system whereby the candidates that acquire most vote will win the position even if the percentage of the votes is less than 50%. As for the term for the candidate that win the election is five year, but all the election has no fixed date and due to that there’s always local election in Indonesia throughout the year (Green, 2005).
In the province level, the elections are for choosing Governor and his vice, they will be elected as a pair for five-years term. The pair need to at least earn 30% percent for the vote, if they failed to acquire the required percentage of vote then the second round of elections will be held but the election only involving the top two candidates (TANDJUNG). Therefore, not all province applying the same law because there are provinces with special status that allows them to applied different general electoral law which is Yogyakarta, Papua, west Papua, Aceh and Jakarta. In Yogyakarta, they used the Sultanate; Papua and west Papua has special autonomy meanwhile Aceh, sharia law and local Political parties and lastly Jakarta is a special region because it is a capital city for Indonesia.
Next level for local election in Indonesia is for municipality and regency. The executives for regency and municipal for rural area known as Regent (Bupati) and in city area known as Mayor (Walikota). Same like regional level, the regent and mayor will be elect as a pair with their vice for five-years term and they need to win at least get 30% vote to win the elections. In addition, for this level of election they also did not have fixed date hence, sometimes it happened on the same day as the province elections. The regent and mayor then need to choose appointed the Head Of District (camat) for their respective districts. According to article 67 (3) and (4) of law 22/1999, the regent/mayor has to choose the head of district from civil servant that fulfil the requirement needed in the law. The last level for the local election in Indonesia is the election to choose the head of village(kepala desa) the candidates for the election is a civilian that elected by the villagers in more locally and informal organized elections. Different from other local level, the head of village will be hold their position for six-year term (Green, 2005).
In conclusion, the local elective system in Indonesia is not totally organized as they did not have the fixed date for the elections. Due to this the elections sometimes collide, and it happen throughout the year which will cost more money to the government. Indonesia managed to applied the decentralization in their country but the system is still quite vague. Some effort and compromised from central government will be required if they want to do a progress and improvement.
4.0 THE ELECTIVE SYSTEM IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CAMBODIA
Cambodia is divided into 24 provinces of Khmer and special administration unit of Phnom Penh. Each province is divided into a districts which composed 159 districts of Khmer and 12 districts of Phnom Penh. In Cambodia, there are a Commune Councils which basically a group of elected person from a self-defined residential neighbourhood. Commune Council also known as Sangkat Council which composed of 5 to 11 members depends on geography and population of each commune. Each commune council are headed by a chief and two deputy chief. All the members of councils are responsible to provide a variety of public services for their community also healthcare, education and security. They are also play a role in solving any disputes that occurred among their citizens (Sihamoni, 2015).
All the council members are directly elected by the citizen assembly of that territory area every five years. There are twelve party who will competing in these elections. Political party rank their candidates in a closed list while the voters cast their ballots for a political party. The person who are eligible to vote in this election is the citizens above 18 years and hold a national identity card and must be registered during the registration process. The process of electing the commune council is first, they need to distributing voter information notice at villages in communes. After that, held the electoral campaign within 14 days. Then, after 14 days the election monitoring organization should posting voter lists at polling station and the day after, held the election and vote counting also posted the results at polling stations. The next day, preliminary elect result announcement made by National Election Committee (NEC). After a few days, the official electoral results been announced. If the political party manage to win majority vote in commune council, it will guarantee a majority in senate (Sihamoni, 2015).
For example, since the Cambodia is using the proportional representative system so the candidates are nominated by political party that have registered for the elections. Elected through a proportional system that nationally registered political parties that are presenting a list of candidates of at least twice number of seats in each commune and there is no independent candidates. In 2001, there is a problems in voter registration, Cambodian election monitoring organizations will charged the voter registration period. They only give a short time to registered as a voter which lasted from July 21 to August 19 2001 was make the situation become chaotic and partisan. The NEC reopened registrations stations in some areas for an additional 3 days after request from political parties (Gallup, 2005)
In conclusion, local government election is very important to any country. These elections enable ordinary citizens to become a responsible for the financial and administrative affairs of their areas. By taking important responsibilities, the citizens will feel that they are integral part of the system, so their stake in the system will increases. If these elections are held regularly people from remote areas will not have to come to large cities. After that, local government election is benefited as local government is more about the issues of everyday life also the single member who lead the district can give a say in local affairs as these districts are so small and they are usually highly homogeneous. In contrast, some countries which use proportional representative system for local government see defined municipalities as the perfect way to have a members of local government.