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Jakarta Post

Against KPU, Bawaslu allows ex-graft convicts to run in 2019 elections

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 31, 2018   /   02:03 pm
Against KPU, Bawaslu allows ex-graft convicts to run in 2019 elections General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman displays ballot boxes at the commission's headquarters in Jakarta on Nov.15. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The Elections Supervisory Agency’s (Bawaslu) decision to allow five former graft convicts to run in the 2019 legislative elections has been harshly criticized by the public, including anticorruption non-governmental organization Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).

Despite the fact that the General Elections Commission (KPU) has issued a regulation forbidding graft convicts to run as legislative candidates, Bawaslu chose to ignore the regulation and based its assessment on the 2017 Election Law, which allows those who receive a sentence of more than five years to run for office.

Bawaslu decided to pass five legislative hopefuls from Rembang in Central Java, Pare-Pare and Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, Aceh and South Sulawesi provinces after they were declared unfit by the KPU.

ICW researcher Almas Sjafrina said on Thursday that Bawaslu was arrogant by ignoring KPU regulations as the regulation issued by the commission is a valid law according to the 2011 law on the establishment of legal regulations.

KPU commissioner Wahyu Setiawan said he predicted that Bawaslu would allow more ex-convicts to run for office as the agency had previously allowed three hopefuls that were declared unfit by the KPU due to their status.

“I’ve warned that the first three cases would snowball and the number [of ex-convicts allowed to run for office] would continue to rise,” he said, adding that allowing former graft convicts to run for elections would inspire others to do the same. (ris)