Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI) retells Indonesia's 1955 general election as the first election since independence through historical artefacts and collections of the agency and other sources.

"The principles of our first election in 1955 were honest, direct, general, free, secret, and solidarity," Junior Archivist Mudanto Pamungkas stated here, Wednesday.

Pamungkas explained that the ANRI archives concerning the 1955 election are available in text, photographs, and audio-visual forms originating from the then-Information Ministry and Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama.

The ANRI also collected archives from ANTARA News Agency that reported news and stories about the election, he added.

Pamungkas explained that the 1955 election was organized in two phases. The first phase was held on September 29 to elect 257 members of the House of Representatives, while the second phase was organized on December 15 to elect 514 members of the Constitutional Assembly, also known as Konstituante.

"The legal basis of the 1955 election was Law No. 7 of 1953 on Election of Konstituante and House of Representative members," the archivist stated.

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Some 36 political parties, 34 mass organizations, and 48 independent candidates participated in the parliamentary election, he remarked, adding that 39 political parties, 23 mass organizations, and 29 independent candidates vied for seats in the Constitutional Assembly.

"The voter's registration for the election took place from May to November 1954. Residents eligible to vote are those aged at least 18 years old or who have married," he noted.

Of the 77.9 million members of the Indonesian population at that time, 43.1 million were entitled to vote, the archivist stated.

"Indonesian nationals overseas could not vote in the 1955 election, as decided during the 95th cabinet meeting on February 8, 1955," Pamungkas stated.

The results of the 1955 legislative election were dominated by four political parties: the Indonesian National Party (PNI), with 8.4 million votes, and the Islamist Masyumi Party, with 7.9 million votes, both awarded 57 seats.

Meanwhile, Nahdlatul Ulama, which was politically active at that time, received 6.9 million votes, equal to 45 seats, while the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) won 6.1 million votes, meaning it was awarded 39 parliamentary seats.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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