Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) was again the target of scores of demonstrators on Wednesday January 18. This time it was a protest by a group calling itself the Indonesian Independent People's Union National Leadership Board (DPN SRMI).
The demonstrators began arriving at the KPU along with the command vehicle at 2 pm. They wore red clothing, brought banners with the SRMI logo on them and carried posters with criticism against the election organising institution.
"Continue the elections? An audit first KPU", read a message on one of the posters brought by the demonstrators.
"The KPU must be fair in its thinking", called a speaker. "There were parties that didn't pass [the verification process] but were then passed, there were parties that passed but then were not passed. The KPU must not side with the oligarchy, but side with the people", reiterated the speaker.
These calls were related to reports of alleged electoral fraud committed by the KPU during the factual verification process for political parties to take part in the 2024 elections.
Last week, this alleged fraud was the conveyed to the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission II by a groups of non-government organisations (LSM) calling themselves the Civil Society Coalition for Safeguarding Clean Elections.
"Many figures have reported fraud by the KPU, some have gone to the DPR, the Bawaslu [Elections Supervisory Board], the DKPP [Election Organisers Ethics Council], saying that the KPU is not working professionally and is an accomplice of a certain group. Yet the KPU is not allowed to be involved in politics, let alone be a party accomplice", said another speaker.
The protest action proceeded without incident although Jalan Imam Bonjol in front of the KPU offices became congested. Aside from the demonstrators, there were also children on the command vehicle.
Earlier, DPN SRMI General Chairperson Wahida Baharuddin Upa said that they have three demands for the KPU.
"Immediately audit the KPU. Reveal the Sipol (Political Party Information System) data on the political parties to the people. Halt the election process", said Upa, who is also the Chairperson of the Justice and Prosperity People's Party (PRIMA), which failed the KPU's factual verification stage last year.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa SRMI Demo KPU RI Minta Pemilu Ditunda dan Audit Data".]