The Jakarta Post
Some 56 survey institutions have been certified by the General Elections Commission (KPU) to carry out election-related surveys and quick counts.
KPU commissioner Sigit Pamungkas said on Saturday that uncertified pollsters would not be able to publish their surveys.
'We will warn them [the uncertified pollsters],' he told The Jakarta Post.
Besides the 56 pollsters, the KPU also certified 19 institutions or NGOs that will observe the election during an event at the commission's headquarters in Central Jakarta on Saturday.
'The goal is for the election observers and the survey institutions to meet in one forum and communicate with each other so that they can understand their respective roles and can help each other,' KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik said during the opening of the event.
According to him, the pollsters play an important role in shaping the public's perception ahead of the election.
'If the results of the surveys are positive, then the public will be motivated to participate [in the election],' Husni said.
The certified survey institutions and election observers must work wihin Law No. 8/2012 on the legislative election, according to him.
First, the law states that pollsters should not side with a particular party. 'The survey should not be designed to achieve a specific result,' Husni said.
Second, the survey institutions should not disrupt the process of the balloting itself.
For example, if a survey asked its respondents whether campaigning was important or not, or whether a coup was needed or not in 2014, then the survey would be deemed to have disturbed the process of democracy in the country, Husni said.
Third, the election observers should work on boosting the public participation in the election.
Fourth, the pollsters and the election observers should attempt to create a safe election.
Fifth, the pollsters could not publish election-related surveys during the cooling-off period prior to polling day from April 6 through April 8.
Lastly, the quick count institutions are only allowed to publish their results two hours after an election closes. They also have to publish their results within 15 days of the polls.
Commenting on the regulation, Indonesian Association for Public Opinion Research (AROPI) secretary-general Umar S. Bakry said on Saturday that the association rejected the strict limitation that the law imposed on pollsters.
'Why can't we publish survey results during the cool-off period? A witch doctor or a psychic could predict the outcome of the election on a TV show during the period, so why can't we do the same for something that is clearly of scientific nature?' he told the Post.
Sigit said that the KPU would set up an ethics panel to decide the most appropriate punishment for any pollster that breached the Election Law or code of ethics applied to pollsters.
'But if the pollster is a member of an association, then the case will be handled by the association,' he said.
Sigit added that all certified pollsters should disclose their sources of funding to ensure they are not affiliated with political parties or presidential candidates whenever they published their surveys.
The requirement to disclose their sources of funding only came into effect since the pollsters received their certifications, according to KPU commissioner Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyansyah.
The list of the pollsters
Lingkaran Survei Kebijakan Publik, PT Citra Komunikasi LSI, PT Konsultan Citra Indonesia, Media Survei Nasional, PT Citra Publik Indonesia, PT Indikator Politik Indonesia, PT Data LSI (Lembaga), PT Lingkaran Survei Indonesia (LSI), PT Roy Morgan Research, Lembaga Jaringan Isu Publik, PT Cyrus Nusantara, PT Citra Publik, PT Media Suvei Nusantara, Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC), Cirus Surveyors Group Lembaga Survei Nasional, Pusat Data Bersatu, Lembaga Survei Jakarta, Pol-Tracking Indonesia, Indopolling Network Research, Strategy and Consulting, Political Communication Institute, Markplus Insight, Indonesia Research Centre, Puskaptis, PT Indo Barometer, Charta Politica Indonesia, Polmark Indonesia, Jaringan Suara Indonesia (JSI), Studi Suara Rakyat (SSR), PT Lentera dan Riset, Lembaga Polling Indonesia (LPI), Political Weather Station, Lembaga Klimatologi Politik, New Indonesia, Puslitbang Diklat LPP RRI, PT Kompas Media Nusantara, Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, PT Alvara Strategi Indonesia, Politicalwave.com, Lembaga Survei Independen Nusantara (LSIN), PT Premier Epsilon Indonesia, Soegeng Sarjadi School of Goverment, Indonesia Research and Survey, Citra Survei Indonesia (CSI), PT Indo Survey and Strategy (ISS), PT Taylor Nelson Sofres Indonesia, Populi Center, Lembaga Real Count Nusantara, Nurjaman Center for Indonesia Democrazy (NCID), LPI, Survei and Polling Indonesia (Spin), Indonesia Survey Center (ISC), Founding Fathers House, Litbang Koran Sindo, Riset Kebijakan Otonomi Daerah (Rekode) and Losta Institute.