Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – Representatives of an alliance of non-government organisations (NGOs) calling themselves the Civil Society Coalition for Safeguarding Clean Elections visited the offices of the Election Organisers Ethics Council (DKPP) on Tuesday February 28.
The Coalition handed over a petition urging the DKPP to investigate alleged manipulation of the factual verification stage for parties wanting to participate in the 2024 elections, which is said to involve General Election Commission (KPU) officials from the central and regional offices.
"Essentially this petition contains the public's support, the public's desire to encourage, support the DKPP in pursuing alleged ethical code violations committed by our election organisers", Coalition representative Hadar Nafis Gumay from the Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (NETGRIT) told journalists on Tuesday.
The online petition has collected at least 10,000 signatures via the change.org website.
Aside from handing over the petition, the Coalition also said it hopes that the DKPP will issue a ruling on the alleged fraud in the factual verification process that is objective and fair.
Gumay said that the Coalition hopes that election officials who are proven to have committed fraud are punished by being dismissed from their posts.
"Because it's impossible for us to be able to have clean, honest and fair elections if we still depend upon, that we don't trust the [election] organisers", said Gumay, who is also a former KPU commissioner.
The DKPP itself has already held two hearings into alleged fraud in the factual verification process.
The alleged fraud was earlier reported by a KPU member from the Sangihe Islands regency, North Sulawesi, Jeck Stephen Seba, on December 21, 2022, through his lawyers Alghiffari Aqsa, Fadli Ramadhanil, Ibnu Syamsu Hidayat, Imanuel Gulo, Airlangga Julio, Yokie Rahmad Isjchwansyah, Hilma Gita and Ikhsan L. Wibisono.
The team of lawyers is affiliated with the Civil Society Coalition for Safeguarding Clean Elections.
The nine people reported were KPU officials from the Sangihe Islands and the North Sulawesi KPU regional office who allegedly changed the status of the Indonesian People's Wave Party (Gelora Party), the Indonesian Reform Movement Party (Garuda Party), the National Populist Party (PKN) and the Labour Party from TMS (requirements not met) to MS (requirements met), during the administrative verification, administrative verification revision, the factual verification and the factual verification revision stages.
These changes allegedly involved the manipulation of official report data in the Political Party Information System (Sipol) between November 7 and December 10, 2022.
The nine people reported are divided into several categories.
The first category includes North Sulawesi KPU officials and is made up of Meidi Yafeth Tinangon as the chairperson along with KPU members Salman Saelangi and Lanny Anggriany Ointu.
The second category includes the North Sulawesi KPU general secretariat, namely Lucky Firnando Majanto as the general secretary and Carles Y. Worotitjan as the head of the technical section for election organisation, participation, public relations, legal affairs and human resources.
The third category includes KPU commissioners from the Sangihe Islands regency office, namely Elysee Philby Sinadia as the chairperson along with KPU members Tomy Mamuaya and Iklam Patonaung.
The fourth category includes the Sangihe Islands regency KPU secretariat general, namely Jelly Kantu as the head of the technical sub-section for public relations and participation.
Meanwhile KPU national Election Organisation Technical Division Coordinator Idham Holik was reported over the same case although he is not considered to be directly involved in the manipulation of the political party electoral verification process.
Holik was reported because he was considered to have "conveyed threats" in front of the participants of an all-Indonesia KPU national consolidation meeting that was held in the City Beach Entertainment Center (BCEC) convention hall in Ancol, North Jakarta.
The "threat" was related to an order directed at regional KPU officials to obey a directive to make changes to the Sipol and that those who did not do this would be "put into hospital".
The Civil Society Coalition for Safeguarding Clean Elections is made up of a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) such as the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), NETGRIT, the Centre for Legal and Policy Studies (PSHK), the Constitutional and Administrative Law Society, the Non-Government Organisations Communication and Information Forum, the Andalas University constitutional Study Centre, Themis Indonesia and the AMAR Law Firm.
According to a December 19, 2022 article in the Jakarta Post, the Gelora Party had its eligibility falsified because it is a rival of the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), having been formed following a split within the PKS in 2019. Likewise the National Populist Party (PKN) is likely to rival the Democrat Party as many of its members were drawn away from the Democrats. The PKS and the Democrats are not part of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ruling coalition and position themselves as the parliamentary opposition. The Garuda Party meanwhile has been deeply involved in the judicial reviews filed against the Elections Law at the Constitutional Court, one of which resulted in allowing government ministers to run as election candidates.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Koalisi Sipil Sampaikan Petisi 10.000 Tanda Tangan ke DKPP, Desak Usut Dugaan Kecurangan KPU".]