'Factual Verification' for New Political Parties Draws Criticism

A new law requiring new parties to be 'factually verified' to be able to compete in the 2019 legislative election is drawing much criticism. (Antara Photo/Dedhez Anggara)

By : Alin Almanar | on 9:26 PM October 02, 2017
Category : News

Jakarta. A two-week period when political parties have to register to compete in the 2019 legislative election will begin on Tuesday (03/10), officials said, as criticism over a new rule that requires new parties to be "factually verified" reaches fever pitch.

The new rule is based on a recently enacted law for the new parties to undergo "factual verification," that critics have called "discriminatory."

Parties that have registered with the General Elections Commission (KPU) in previous elections still have to register this year and submit a wide range of documents.

But for new parties, the documents will then be cross-checked with real data on their boards of management, memberships and headquarters in each of the country's 34 provinces — a process called the factual verification.

"We will implement the law, though some parties may not be happy with it," KPU Commissioner Hasyim Asyari told the press in Jakarta on Monday.

The requirement for new parties to undergo factual verification is currently undergoing a judicial review at the Constitutional Court.

Among the complainants are the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), the United Indonesian Party (Perindo) and the Peaceful and Benign Islamic Party (Idaman).

The 2017 election law, recently enacted after months of heated debate among lawmakers, states that data on old parties will be based on the 2014 legislative election.

But critics of the new rule say "political dynamics" have changed these parties since then and that they also need to be factually verified.

KPU Commissioner Hasyim, seemingly distancing his office from the controversy, said every eligible party has to meet a range of requirements.

"All parties must register, and with registering comes requirements," Hasyim said. Among them is that all parties must have a board of management in every province, as stipulated under the elections law.

The list of political parties competing in the 2019 legislative election will be announced in February.

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