Bawaslu: Election Violations Already Taking Place Ahead of Dec. 9 Polls

AUGUST 07, 2015

Jakarta. Although the regional elections are still months away, an election watchdog says it has already discovered violations in two provinces.

The discovery came just days after the registration period for the 269 elections closed.

Nasrullah, a member of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), said some candidates have already promised posts to civil servants in exchange for their loyalty and assistance in the upcoming elections, staged simultaneously across the country on Dec. 9.

The Bawaslu member said this had happened in North Sumatra and North Maluku.

“We have clarified this with supervisory committees [in the respective provincial offices] and there are photographs,” he said. “These are strong pieces of evidence. We will announce it soon.”

The government has instructed civil servants to remain neutral, but Nasrullah said the Bawaslu believes that similar violations will be rampant, as has been the cases in previous elections.

By law, the Bawaslu can only impose administrative sanctions on violators, but Nasrullah said his office was pushing police to pursue criminal cases against those it suspects of electoral fraud.

Nasrullah urged President Joko Widodo to issue a regulation in-lieu of law (Perppu) to override existing laws and give the oversight agency more powers.

The current law has many loopholes, Nasrullah said. "We are toothless in fighting such political promises being made to civil servants.”