Bawaslu: KPPS in 4,859 voting stations not neutral

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An official prepares ballot boxes before their distribution to polling stations in a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia. (photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

IO, Jakarta – Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Body) Commissioner Afifudin has stated that KPPS (Voting Organizers Groups) are sworn to be neutral and independent in carrying out their duties. However, Bawaslu recorded thousands of KPPS in various voting stations in the 2019 General Election to favor one side above the other. In some voting stations, voters were directed towards a certain candidate, an act considered as voter intimidation. “The General Election Supervisor have found KPPS in 4,859 voting stations to direct voters to choose a certain candidate,” said Afif in his office, Jakarta on Wednesday (17/4).

Afifudin also stated that the Bawaslu found there were KPPS who voted on unused ballot papers. This happened in at least 860 voting stations. “There were also KPPS who decided to close the voting stations before 13.00 local time. This happened in 3,066 voting stations,” said the Commissioner.

Not only that, Afifudin stated that there was voter mobilization to choose a certain candidate in 436 voting stations. There were also voting witnesses who used political attributes in 2,497 voting stations.

According to the results from over 800 thousand voting stations by General Election Supervisor officers across the nation, Afifudin says, at least 3,399 voting stations were still exposed to campaign material leftover from April 14-16, 2019. “This is despite the laws forbidding campaigning during the ‘peace’ period. Actions have been carried out in these places,” he said in a press conference in the Bawaslu Office, Jalan MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta on Wednesday (17/4).

Afifudin admitted that although it already seemed high, cases would continue to rise as some of the officers had not yet submitted their findings. “And there were voting witnesses who were using attributes which had candidate elements or serial numbers in 2,490 voting stations,” he added.

Furthermore, Bawaslu recorded a total of 121,993 cases. Afif stated that this report was only a fast response and the data was still moving. Despite the many problems, Afif expressed his appreciation for the organizers of the election and recognized their best efforts including the General Election Commission (KPU), Bawalsu, and DKPP (Honorary Board of General Election Organizers).

“With all due respect, we appreciate the best efforts which we have done together as a consequence of the mandate of the constitution as the Bawaslu indeed must supervise, that is a small portrait of the supervision to ensure the election is carried out with integrity,” he said. (Eka)