Polling Agencies Must Remain Neutral in Election Lead-Up: Lawmaker

BY :HOTMAN SIREGAR & EKO PRASETYO

OCTOBER 07, 2016

Jakarta. A lawmaker has reminded polling agencies that they must remain independent and maintain professionalism in the lead up to next year's simultaneous regional elections.

“Polling agencies cannot act as political consultant for a certain candidate. It is not professional,” Riza Patria, the House of Representatives’ Commission II, deputy chairman, said in Jakarta, Thursday (06/10). Commission II oversees domestic governance.

“The survey can be ordered by any candidates, but the results should remain independent. A polling agency should not manipulate its data,” he added.

The Gerindra lawmaker said a survey fee is generally runs around Rp 400 million ($31,000) per 400 respondents.

He urged all political parties and campaign teams to make public announcements if they intend to cooperate with particular polling agencies so as to avoid prejudice among the public.

Siti Zuhro, a political observer at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said several polling agencies often release the result a client wants, rather than what is accurate.

She added these agencies should use academic methodology while while practising honesty, integrity and credibility.

Siti called on the General Election Commission (KPU) to regulate the agencies and impose those who willfully mislead.

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