Candidates sue poll body, demand election be postponed
With just one month to go before the election for Jakarta’s top job, the ongoing controversy surrounding the voters’ list reached new heights on Monday when the campaign team of Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo filed suit with the Central Jakarta High Court.
Habiburokhman, the campaign team’s coordinator for advocacy and legal affairs, told reporters on Monday that the campaign team demanded that the court order the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) to postpone the elections, scheduled for July 11, due to the rampant irregularities in the voters’ list.
“We also recommend the court establish a special team to fix the voters’ list. We propose the team include 15 people from the campaign teams [who reject the list] and 15 people from the KPU Jakarta,” Habiburokhman said.
The irregularities in the official voters’ list announced by the KPU Jakarta on June 2, he argued, went against the 2008 Law on Local Governments, which stipulates that “Local leaders and his or her deputy are elected democratically through direct, universal, free, confidential, transparent and fair principles”.
“We are concerned that the brouhaha surrounding the voters’ list will taint the election’s outcome, eventually prompting widespread public dissatisfaction when the results are announced,” he said.
The lawsuit, Habiburokhman argued, was “not a direct attack against the KPU Jakarta but rather a resolution for citizens to get a governor elected through a fair and democratic process”.
The lawsuit filed by Jokowi’s campaign team is likely to be followed by other gubernatorial hopefuls, especially considering that five of the six gubernatorial hopefuls — with the exception of the campaign team of incumbent Fauzi Bowo — have officially rejected the voters’ list.
Representatives of the remaining five campaign teams told The Jakarta Post that they did not object to the legal move taken by Jokowi’s campaign team, hinting at the possibility of them following suit.
“The representatives of the five campaign teams have discussed the problematic voters’ list on many occasions. Basically, we support the legal steps taken by the campaign team of any candidate,” Reinhard Parapat, a representative of the Faisal Basri-Biem Benjamin team, told the Post via text message on Monday.
“If the KPU Jakarta remains stubborn about deciding anything without involving the five gubernatorial hopefuls, as well as the incumbent, in discussions, then there is a possibility that other candidates will take legal action as well,” he added.
Representatives of five Jakarta governor candidates met with KPU Jakarta commissioners on Thursday, submitting 130,000 names that they considered ineligible to be included on the voters’ list of 6.9 million. The meeting concluded with KPU chairwoman Dahlia Umar vowing to follow up on submitted reports.
The KPU Jakarta, through its commissioners, on various occasions has expressed readiness to face a lawsuit on its controversial voters’ list, insisting that it is final and, based on prevailing laws, cannot be changed.
The commission’s head of logistics, Aminullah, on Sunday offered “on-the-spot verification” as a solution to settle the matter. He said the poll body would mark the “ghost voters”, or those listed twice or with identical ID card numbers, so that polling station officers would recognize them on election day. (sat)