Thursday, November 21, 2013


         Jakarta, Nov 21, 2013 (Antara) - In making preparations for general elections, the registration process is one of the most difficult tasks, as data entry of eligible voters must be conducted transparently and accurately.
         Voters' lists are always a sensitive and crucial issue because if they are not accurate, they  trigger a suspicion of manipulation, or depriving a citizen of his constitutional rights if his or her name is not on the list.
         Indonesia plans to hold national and provincial legislative elections on April 9, 2014, which will be followed by the presidential election on July 9.
        The national General Elections Commission (KPU) has declared that the total number of eligible domestic voters for the general elections in 2014 is 186,612,255 people, consisting of 93,439,610 men and 93,172,645 women.
        They will cast their votes at 545,778 voting stations in 81,034 villages in 6,980 sub-districts located in 497 districts and cities in the country's 33 provinces.
        The total number of eligible Indonesian voters living overseas is 2,010,280. They are based in 130 countries, which will have 873 polling stations.
        KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik noted that the KPU had considered all input before declaring the Eligible Voters' List (DPT) as complete. However, some 10.4 million voters on this list are considered "problematic" because they do not have citizenship identity numbers (NIKs).
      To fix the errors, the General Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) allowed the national KPU to complete the rectification of 10.4 million problematic data entries for voters within 30 days from November 4.
        In addition to the faulty 10.4 million data entries, however, the Gerindra Party has discovered that some 3,750,231 data entries for voters for the 2014 general elections include errors.
         Chairman of Gerindra's Central Executive Board in charge of Advocacy Habiburokhman said the data was collected from 17 districts and cities. The political party presented the findings to the Commission on November 19, for rectification and cross-checking.
         KPU's Chairman Husni Kamil Malik said the Commission is currently fixing data for eligible voters at the district and city level, and is also examining a report filed by the Gerindra Party on errors in the data for 3.7 million eligible voters.
         "We are at present monitoring and cross-checking what has been done by the local KPU offices at the city and district level," he said.
        To help resolve problems in the voters' lists, the Home Affairs Ministry has deployed a special team to assist the KPU in repairing data entries.
         "We are deploying a 50-member special team to various regions to help the General Election Commission (KPU) update data on 'problematic' voters on the list," Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said recently.
         In Jakarta, for instance, the capital city's KPU has so far managed to  resolve around 29 thousand data entries for eligible voters holding invalid NIKs on the list of eligible voters.
         The rectification was part of a process aimed at addressing faults in some 66 thousand data entries of voters, M Sidik, the Chairman of the working group for updating voters' data at Jakarta's KPU, said on  November 20, 2013.
         The Commission underwent a process of prior verification of the actual voters before fixing the data, Sidik pointed out.
         Because the voters' list is so important, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono chaired a consultation meeting on November 13 to discuss the problem with chiefs of state institutions such as House Speaker Marzuki Alie, Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Siddaharta Danusubroto, Chairman of the State Audit Agency (BPK) Hadi Purnomo, Chairman of the Judicial Commission (MK) Suparman, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Hamdan Zoelva, and Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto.
         Earlier, when visiting Bandung, West Java, Marzuki Alie asked the KPU to work harder to end the confusion over the eligible voters' list.
        "We ask the KPU to work harder to deal with the problem, so that it does not drag on," the Speaker stated.
        Double lists could be misused by some people in power in the regions, he warned.
        Several political parties have also expressed concern about the voters' list problem.   
    The People's Conscience (Hanura) party, for instance, has stated that it  wanted to make sure the 2014 general election has fewer problems than seen in the last election.
        "Hanura will watch closely. We are ready to even help in the verification of the eligible voters' list (DPT)," Deputy Secretary General of Hanura Kristiawanto said recently.
        He urged the Commission to take strategic steps to solve the problem before the elections, in line with regulations. The strategic steps are necessary since the public remains suspicious of the 10.4 voters, he said.
         The Gerindra (Greater Indonesia Movement) Party has warned that a faulty voter list could lead to cheating during the general elections.
         "Whenever we have a general election, the Eligible Voter List (DPT) becomes problematic. The same is happening now because of poor validation of the voter list for next year's general elections. We had better watch out, because cheating could take place due to
a faulty voter list," Haris Bobihoe, Gerindra's Deputy Secretary General, stated in Mamuju, West Sulawesi.
         The voters' list should be monitored closely because it has the the potential to be used for manipulating the general elections, he added.
        "We have instructed all legislative candidates of Gerindra, both in Jakarta and other regions, to closely monitor the DPT issues. The chaos during the general elections of 2009 was also due to a fault in the DPT," Haris pointed out.
         Gerindra planned to communicate with the General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) and the General Elections Commission (KPU) for repairing invalid data on the voters' list.
         "We found that a person who had passed away was still on the list. There also were other problems."
   "Therefore, the general elections' executors must ensure that no citizen loses his or her constitutional rights," he said. ***1***
(T.F001/A/BESSR/A/Yosep) 21-11-2013

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