KPU Chairman admits to possibility of fraud

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Arief Budiman when opening the 2019 Vice Presidential Debat on 17 March 2019. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – There have been so many data input errors in many regions, until finally Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) Chairman Arief Budiman was forced to acknowledge the possibility of fraud. He reluctantly stated that there is a possibility that some of his officers may have cheated when they input voting count data into the (Sistem Informasi Perhitungan – “Situng”). The admission was made as a response to the protest made by the National Committee to Elect Prabowo-Sandi (Badan Pemenangan Nasional Prabowo-Sandi – “BPN Prabowo-Sandi”) who repeatedly stated that KPU officials have cheated. “We will definitely check. Some may be deliberate, while others… I cannot yet conclude whether it is deliberate or human error, an accident, or something else,” Arief Budiman stated at KPU RI Office in Jalan Imam Bonjol, Central Jakarta, on Sunday (21/04/2019).

Arief stated that this input error uncovered also occurred in previous Elections. This is mainly caused by erroneous data input made by the officials. Therefore, he believes that the erroneous data input during the vote count in 9 Voting Points (Tempat Pemungutan Suara – “TPS”) is purely human error. KPU admitted to erroneous input to the Situng in 142 TPS. KPU discovered the erroneous data entries from monitoring (104 TPS) and from citizen reports (38 TPS).

The KPU Chairman seems to blame the officials for erroneous data input. National University (Universitas Nasional – “Unas”) Legal Practitioner Ismail Rumadan stated that the KPU must be responsible for the input errors made during the 2019 Presidential Elections, as it occurred repeatedly to detriment of just one of the Candidate Pairs. He stated that KPU’s citing of human error is hard to accept, because erroneous input in the Situng occurs more than once. “We cannot tolerate this kind of error because it happenes repeatedly. Therefore, we must not let KPU just admit the repeated fault and excuse it; KPU itself must be held responsible,” Ismail said in a press statement on Wednesday (1/5/2019).

According to Article 505 of the Election Law, any KPU member who causes the increase or decrease of votes for a specific Candidate Pair out of neglect may be imprisoned for one year. “In fact, if the vote loss suffered by either Electoral Participant is caused by KPU’s deliberate action, the perpetrator can be imprisoned for four years according to the provisions of Article 532 of the Elections Law,” he said. (D. Ramdani)