Students, lecturers protest

The Jakarta Post, Bogor

Students and lecturers from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) protested the rectorial election process, saying it lacked transparency and fairness.

President of the Students' Executive Board (BEM), Atang Trisnanto, said Saturday that the problem started with the shortlisting of the candidates from nine to five.

""We demand an open and transparent explanation about the requirement which was used (in the screening of the candidates),"" he told Antara.

Atang and dozens of lecturers on Friday visited the Academic Senate Secretariat (SA) to make the demand as they considered the election process undemocratic.

Last month, students and academics from the institute elected nine candidates. In the next process on Wednesday, the 54-member Academic Senate Secretariat (SA) shortlisted the nine candidates to five through a secret vote. Economist Didik J. Rachbini as well as three other candidates, Agus Pakpahan, Irawadi Djamaran and Siswadi, which got the most votes during the previous round, lost in the race.

They were beaten by AA Mattjik - who is also member of the SA - Eriyatno, HM Aman Wirakartakusumah, Muhamad Achmad Chozin and Rizal Syarief.

The institute's board of trustees will select two names, but it has not decided when the selection process will take place, according to Ismudi Muchsin of the SA.

Ismudi denied any irregularities in the electoral process, saying that everything was in accordance with the procedures.

The rectorial election, which is open for candidates from outside the campus, is being held by IPB for the first time in its history. This is in accordance with its new status as the state-owned incorporated entity (BHMN). In 2000 that status was granted also to the University of Indonesia in Depok, Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta and the Bandung Institute of Technology.

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