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Campaigning manuscripts must be checked, campaigners must have a permit

Kompas - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – Every manuscript which will be used in the campaigns of the coming general elections (Pemilu) must first be checked by the Examination Committee for General Elections Campaign Manuscripts formed by the Minmister of Home Affairs/Chairman of the General Elections Institution (LPU). Likewise, the campaigners must have a permit from the police to may campaign in certain areas. While in a dialogic campaign, to avoid "all kinds of" questions, there will be placed a Mediator of the Agenda.

Said stipulation forms a Decision of the Minister of Home Affairs/LPU Chairman No. 7/1997 about the Directives To Implement the General Elections of 1997 which was conveyed by the Vice General Secretary II Waluyo, sided by the Vice Bureau Head of the LPU Public Relations Djumaedi, Tuesday (4/10). The implementation directives of the campaign referred to Presidential Decree No 99/1996 about the Arrangement of Pemilu 1997 which is for the first time compiled during the pemilu implementation.

Besides the checking of the manuscript, the permit of the campaigner, the signs of the campaign in the implementation directives are quite strict, among others that the campaign location will be determined by the IInd level regional head/resident/mayor together with the local police, and information will be given to the police which will issue a Certificate on the Information of the managing board of the pemilu participating organization (OPP) concerned. The campaign will take place from 27 April - 23 May for 27 days between 09,00-18,00, with a period of silence between 24 May-28 May before D-Day of the Pemilu implementation, namely 29 May 1997.

The Examination Committee for General Elections Campaign Manuscripts will examine the campaign manuscripts through radio and TV before the broadcast. Reporters asked whether this means that the government is censoring campaign manuscripts? "No censor but an examination whether the campaign manuscript is true or false," said the Vice General Secretary of the LPU II Waluyo.

He added that conform the stipulation the campaign manuscripts had to give priority to OPP programs for imput of the GBHN (Broad Outlines of the Nation's Direction)'s compilation. "Not to step out of that. The campaign should not besmirch other OPP," said Waluyo. "If it is positive critics there is no problem. Now most are criticizing but not giving the way out," he added.

According to Waluyo said team to examine the manuscripts has various elements as members including from the Department of Information, Home Affairs and others. "The team with smart members are expected to examine the (campaign) manuscripts not perfunctorily," he said.

In this relation was questioned if the teams consisted of government elements which are nota bene Golkar, whether they could be expected to examine the manuscripts of other OPP's objectively. "Yeah, don't know (about that problem). But they are citizens who can be accounted for," said Waluyo.

Big role

The magnitude of the role of bureaucracy in the regulation of the campaign implementation was also questioned by the press. "Is it guaranteed that it will not create biasses when evaluating campaign manuscripts of other OPP's?" reporters asked. Acording to Waluyo the government indeed arranged the campaign as organizer of the pemilu. "Are not the public places from the government," he said.

Regarding the campaigners, Waluyo said that there were indeed terms which they had to meet, including general terms like being an Indonesian citizen, member of the OPP in concern, not involved in the communist coup. "And passed the special investigation (litsus). Those who are included in the caleg (candidate legislative member) have certainly passed the litsus," he said. Waluyo also said that the Indonesian Elections Committee (PPI) had no list of campaigners who were on the black list. Whether a person could or could not perform as a campaigner depended on the police which gave the permit.

Besides the monologic campaign, said implementation directives arranged dialogic campaigns (communication) in form of questions and answers, informal discussions, discussions, meetings, workshops, seminars or symposiums.

Conform with Presidentioal Decree No 99/1997, the campaign is divided into six regions, namely Sumatra; Java; Bali, NTB (Western lesser Sundas), NTT (E. Lesser Sundas) and East Timor; Kalimantan; Sulawesi; and the Moluccas and Irian Jaya which could only cover the region of the regency, districts, villages and administrative units.