As the General Elections Commission (KPU) has been widely criticized for its poor performance, one of its leaders, Ida Budhiati, on Friday shifted the blame onto the commission’s secretariat which she said is uncooperative.
During a meeting at the Elections Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) to hear complaints about KPU performance lodged by the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), Ida unexpectedly said the poor performance was apparently because of the “disobedience of the KPU secretariat”.
“We have faced enormous obstacles to get assistance. Personally, I think that there has been bureaucratic disobedience inside KPU,” Ida said during the meeting.
Ida further said that some staff in the KPU secretariat, who are mostly Home Ministry officials, declined to send anyone to help with the administrative verification of 34 political parties on Oct. 16.
The lack of support forced the KPU to extend the verification process. Ultimately, the announcement was made on Oct. 28, three days behind schedule.
“They left us screening the documents alone,” Ida said at a meeting presided over by DKPP chair Jimmly Asshiddiqie.
Aside from Bawaslu, the People’s Synergy for Democracy in Indonesia (Sigma) also filed complaints against them.
Bawaslu and Sigma accused the commissioners of breaching the code of conduct during the administrative verification, in which they passed 16 political parties and disqualified 18 others.
Bawaslu said that the commissioners had failed to provide transparent verification as they declined to cooperate with or disclose data to Bawaslu. The commissioners have not provided clear reasons why the 18 political parties did not pass the verification.
The online KPU system, known as Sipol, is considered to be unreliable and has hampered the verification process. Bawaslu criticized the cooperation between the KPU and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in developing Sipol, saying that the election process should not involve or be funded by any foreign organization.
Said Salahuddin from Sigma said that Ida’s testimony in the hearing might open a door to uncover the major problems inside the country’s elections organizer.
Republic National Party (Nasrep Party) leader Rahman Sabonama said that the internal conflict in KPU reflected the commission’s inability to prepare the upcoming election.
“It was embarrassing that they disclosed their internal conflict in this hearing. The conflict indicates that they are not ready to carry out these important jobs,” he said.
Nasrep Party, along with 11 other unqualified parties, is currently being reexamined by KPU. The poll body will announce the result on Monday which of the 12 parties eligible to follow the next phase of verification. (yps)