Police officers and Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) officials take down campaign props in Temanggung, Central Java, on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Anis Efizudin)

Bawaslu Finds Plenty of Electoral Violations, but Not Many Involving Government Officials


MAY 29, 2019

Jakarta. The Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, has discovered hundreds of criminal offenses committed during the 2019 presidential and legislative elections last month, but only a few of them had involved government officials or military and police officers. 

One of the key arguments being brought by the losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto in its appeal to the Constitutional Court to overturn the election result was that pressure was applied on government officials to give their votes to his rival, incumbent president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. 

Jokowi won the presidential election by 10 percent of the vote

Bawaslu official Fritz Siregar said the agency found 533 criminal offenses during the elections. 

These include, among others, civil servants and military or police officers being involved in campaigning, campaign events held outside the scheduled timetable, village chiefs favoring certain election candidates and use of government facilities during campaign events.

"There were also violations of campaign bans, forging of documents, cases of 'money politics,' public disruption during campaign events, destruction of campaign props, people casting their vote more than once and people trying to invalidate ballot papers," Fritz said on Tuesday. 

Out of the 114 cases that the Bawaslu has trialed so far, 11 involved government officials or active military or police personnel playing a part in campaigning. 

Bawaslu did not specify which of these offenses were conducted by the Prabowo camp or the Jokowi camp. 

In total, Bawaslu found 14,462 alleged electoral violations and received 1,581 reports of election offenses. 

The highest number of electoral violations, 10,066, were found in East Java. Next came South Sulawesi with 806, West Java with 582, Central Sulawesi with 475 and Central Java also with 475.

A total of 215 election offense reports were received from South Sulawesi, 145 from Papua, 141 from West Java, 127 from Central Java and 95 from Aceh. 

In their Constitutional Court appeal, Prabowo's attorneys argued there had been a clear attempt to mobilize government officials and employees of state-owned enterprises to campaign for Jokowi.

They also alleged that intelligence and police officers were not neutral and also campaigned for Jokowi.

As proof, Prabowo's legal team attached links to articles on online news sites. 

Moeldoko, the deputy chairman of Jokowi's campaign team, dismissed the allegation of partisanship among government officials. He said around 72 percent of 4.1 million government officials in fact voted for Prabowo, according to a survey by his own team.