Election organizers’ breakthrough for substantial democracy expected

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DPR Commission II hearings with the KPU, Bawaslu, and DKPP discuss plans from the three election organizing bodies in DPR Building, Senayan, Jakarta, Wednesday (20/11/2019). (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The electoral system is currently a hot topic. The Government, Ministries, and the House of Representatives (“DPR”) are all reviewing it. The Head of the General Election Organizer Honorary Board (Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilihan Umum – “DKPP”) Harjono has stated that several types of violations dominated the elections: Violation of laws (34.66%), manipulation of votes (24.42%), negligence (7.3%), unfair treatment (6%), voting right violations (6%), power abuse (6%), and conflict of interest (5.3%). 

Therefore, Committee II of DPR requests that election organizers such as the Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”), Elections’ Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”), and DKPP are not mere executors of law. They must start to think about how to encourage our democracy to be more substantial, instead of merely being procedural. “KPU has described substantial democracy in our country using democratic indicators. However, in practice we face many obstructions from the procedures that we have created and implemented in the field,” said Kamrussamad, a member of DPR Committee II, in the Commission’s hearing with KPU, Bawaslu, and DKPP for discussing the strategic plans of these three election organizers at the DPR Building, Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday (20/11/2019). 

In other words, separate policies for KPU, Bawaslu and DKPP in a number of island-based provinces are necessary. “We need separate management for managing the socialization efforts necessary for increasing voter participation. We also need logistics distribution management for these regions,” Kamarussamad said. 

For Bawaslu, Kamrussamad specifically stated that it needs a special design for monitoring. It is not impossible for the summaries of Regional Elections and Presidential Elections’ votes in distant islands, which would be delivered using hired fishing boats, to be manipulated during transit. “Therefore, we need better plans from now on, which also considers the input of the relevant island provinces,” he said. 

Kamarussamad said that, on reviewing the elections so far, the role of the Police in the field is a major one. “Is it possible for DKPP to think out some legal breakthroughs? The Police gets its electoral security budget from organizers (KPU). 

The budget should be included in a revised law as a legal breakthrough, because it has a high potential in reducing our democratic index,” he said. “How can we build the neutrality of electoral organizers if there are other forces that are far more brutal than money politics, that use power and facilities to repress regional powers? The thinkers and law experts of DKPP and Bawaslu are the ones able to make good legal breakthrough reviews. All of the State’s instruments and institutions that get a piece of the budget from election organizers must be constantly controlled and monitored. In this way, we can maintain the quality of our democracy.” (Dan)