The Election Law will see major changes after a legislative committee, established to probe alleged election fraud in the 2009 polls, found that many alleged election violations were due to loopholes in the current law, lawmakers said on Wednesday. The findings prompted the House of Representatives to delay deliberation of the revisions to the Election Law.
Committee chairman Chairuman Harahap of the Golkar Party said a slight delay would not be a problem because his committee’s purpose was to ensure transparent and accountable elections in the future.
“We are working very hard to finish deliberation of the bill on time even though at the same time we have the election fraud committee, which has made many interesting findings about many alleged violations in the last elections,” he said.
Ganjar Pranowo of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), a member of the committee, said he was optimistic that the bill would be passed by the end of this month or before the House went into recess on Aug. 1.
Ganjar said one of the most important things the committee had found so far was that the level of managerial quality and competency of most General Elections Commission (KPU) members were very low.
Ganjar said that during several hearings with KPU members, the commissioners often failed to answer lawmakers’ questions about basic administration matters in the institution.
“They were uneasy when we asked about the minutes of KPU meetings. How can a state institution like KPU not take minutes at every official meeting? When we asked about it, the blame game began … very unprofessional. How could they pass the selection process?” he said.
Ganjar said the incompetence of the commissioners was likely an outcome of a weak selection mechanism. “The new law must set stricter criteria and a tougher selection process for KPU members,” he said.