The Constitutional Court has warned that based on recent legislative election cases it has handled, most election violations were committed during the vote counting process. “Our evaluation shows that violations mostly occurred during vote counting, or the recapitulation process at the village, ward and subdistrict level. That’s where opportunities for violations are high. The MK [Constitutional Court] trial did not find many violations committed at the district level,” Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva said in Jakarta on Tuesday. Although he did not provide statistics, Hamdan maintained that few violations were committed during the voting process as opposed to the vote counting process. Hamdan expressed his hope that the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) would take note of the problems especially now that the presidential election is near. “Surely the polling committees need to take note of this,” Hamdan said.
Jerry Sumampouw, coordinator of the Indonesian Voters Committee (TEPI), said presidential candidates treated surveys as benchmarks for their campaigns and if the surveys showed their electability declining, they could manipulate the election process to rig the vote.
“The potential for violations is big by paying or bribing election committee members. This is very likely given the lack of supervision on this matter,” Jerry said.
He said violations were committed mostly by poll committee members (PPS) on the ward level and poll committee members at the subdistrict level (PPK).
“That’s because the risks are very small on these two levels,” Jerry explained.
He said that aside from lower risks, the violations were also encouraged by a lack of strict sanctions, adding that criminal sanction should be imposed to serve as a deterrent to violators.
“All this time there had only been administrative sanctions but they failed to serve as a deterrent,” Jerry lamented.