The presidential decree, which has the same status as a law in Indonesia, requires approval from the House of Representatives. In the plenary session last week, the regional elections law passed the House after Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party walked out of the session, thus leaving a majority for the Merah-Putih coalition (a term that refers to the political parties that supported controversial former army general Prabowo Subianto in the presidential election). President Yudhoyono was in Washington at the time of the plenary session.