Days before Jakarta poll, doubts loom on voter list
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Two days before the city is set to elect its next governor, the Jakarta General Election Commission (KPU Jakarta) has yet to decide on whether it will purge its much-maligned list of registered voters.
Officials are scheduled to meet representatives of the six gubernatorial campaigns at the commission’s office on Monday to resolve the many ineligible names or names listed twice on the voter roll – something analysts say might jeopardize the election’s legitimacy.
The situation took a new turn when the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) ordered the commission to fix the irregularities on the list, instructing the commission to meet with the candidates before finalizing the list.
All the candidates, except for the incumbent, Fauzi Bowo, previously said that the registered voter list contained hundreds of thousands of ineligible names, well before the commission initially finalized it on June 2.
On June 18, candidates Joko Widodo, Alex Noerdin, Hidayat Nur Wahid and Hendardji Soepandji reported KPU Jakarta chairperson Dahlia Umar to the Jakarta Police, alleging that she had manipulated the list.
After the police did not investigate the allegations, the four candidates reported Dahlia to the DKPP, which found her guilty of an ethical violation for failing to accommodate the candidates’ criticism.
The DKPP declared that the list of registered voters issued by the KPU Jakarta on June 2 could not be the final list, as Dahlia had told the board that the list contained ineligible voters, although their names were clearly marked as such on the list.
“As ordered by the council, we will explain to all the campaign teams the steps that we need to take, and then we will ask for their input,” Aminullah, the KPU Jakarta’s logistics chief, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
Aminullah said that the commission had wanted to retain the flawed list, as changing it would violate the 2004 Regional Administration Law, citing a circular it previously issued to authorize its issuance of a list with ineligible voters clearly marked.
“We will revoke the circular and retain the current voter list, as is,” Aminullah said, adding that the commission would rely on officials at the city’s 15,000 polling stations to ensure that no one voted twice by looking at the ink used to stain the fingers of those who vote on election day.
A representative of Joko’s campaign, Sirra Prayuna, said that the KPU Jakarta should remove the ineligible names from the list of registered voters.
“If the KPU Jakarta still uses the marked [June 2] voter list, then who can guarantee that the election will be free from violations?”
The voter list released by the KPU Jakarta on June 2 listed 6,983,692 registered voters at 15,059 polling stations across the capital.
On its preliminary list, the commission recorded 7,044,991 voters.
Jakarta’s second direct gubernatorial election is slated for July 11. The campaign entered a mandatory three day “election quiet”, in which campaigning is banned, on Sunday.
Refly Harun, a senior researcher from the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro), said that the commission should be decisive in determining the final list of registered voters, as its failure to do so might disrupt or even halt the election. (han)