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Rights commission urges easing of requirements for independent candidates

Kompas.com - March 6, 2021

Devina Halim, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) hopes that the requirements for independent candidates to take part in the election of regional heads (pilkada) will be eased for the sake of preventing the emergence of oligarchies.

In addition to this, Komnas HAM Commissioner Hairansyah is also recommending the abolishment or a reduction in the required threshold to nominate a regional head in order to increase the chances for alternative candidates.

"Including from outside of political party channels, there are independent candidates and it is hoped that there will be regulations which facilitate individuals becoming candidates, this is related to preventing sole candidates and the oligarchy which are growing stronger", said Hairansyah during a virtual press conference on Friday March 5.

This recommendation is based on the results of monitoring by Komnas HAM of the organisation of the December 9, 2020 simultaneous regional elections.

Specifically in relation to oligarchic practices, Komnas HAM revealed that there was growth in sole candidates which were supported by almost all the political parties in 25 regions across Indonesia.

This is seen as harming the public interest because it restricts the variety of candidates who can nominate themselves.

Then there is the emergence of candidates who have a special relationship with the incumbent and the political elite, including the president and government ministers.

But the emergence of independent candidates as an alternative to those backed by the political parties is hindered by the heavy requirements. Yet oligarchic practices can influence the policies of regional heads who are elected later.

"That directly and indirectly strengthening the oligarchy in the election of regional heads influences alleged human rights violations which occur in the regions", he said.

"Because with the oligarchy this is also linked to various kinds of corporations who operate in different regions that is often connected with the issuance of permits, monitoring by regional governments", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Rekomendasi Komnas HAM, Syarat Calon Perseorangan dalam Pilkada Dipermudah".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/03/06/07223731/rekomendasi-komnas-ham-syarat-calon-perseorangan-dalam-pilkada-dipermuda