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Democratic consolidation and electoral reform in Southeast Asia: Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia


  • Dong-Yoon Lee
  • Sang Hwa Chung


The purpose of this study is to review the relationship of electoral system and democracy in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The study looks at the transformation process of the electoral system in each country, and performs a comparative study on post-democratization electoral reforms using the concepts of competitiveness and fairness. It is found that electoral systems displayed low levels of competitiveness and fairness before democratization, but that their reforms have led to an increase in competitiveness and an improvement in fairness in all three countries. Also, while the post-democratization electoral reforms have facilitated the above-mentioned democratic virtues, there have been significant country differences in the details of their progress. The Philippines promoted the competitiveness of the electoral system by adopting a party list system and guest candidate system. Although Thailand and Indonesia showed competitiveness in their electoral systems, they prohibited the participation of non-partisan candidates in elections for the sake of stability of party politics. The differences are reflections of their particular political histories and contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Dong-Yoon Lee & Sang Hwa Chung, 2004. "Democratic consolidation and electoral reform in Southeast Asia: Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 51-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:glecrv:v:33:y:2004:i:4:p:51-73 DOI: 10.1080/12265080408449862

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