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Jakarta Post

Vote buying still widespread in Indonesia despite ineffectiveness

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Fri, April 12, 2019   /  02:48 pm
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An official readies ballot boxes on Thursday at the Tanah Abang branch of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Jakarta.(The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama )

Despite the many political and electoral reforms enacted after the New Order era, Indonesia’s elections are still marred by a seemingly intractable problem: vote buying. The recent arrest of Golkar Party lawmaker Bowo Sidik Pangarso for suspected graft is a stark example of this. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) confiscated dozens of cardboard boxes containing thousands of cash-filled envelopes that were reportedly to be used in buying votes on election day. Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a political observer and executive director of Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia, wrote in his 2018 doctoral thesis that 33 percent of all voters received money or other goods in exchange for their votes in the 2014 legislative election. The figure ranks Indonesia third among Asian, African, and Latin American countries with the hi...