The tenure of the General Election Commission (KPU) commissioners and members of the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) for the 2017-2022 period will end in April next year. According to the law, this October a new KPU-Bawaslu selection team must be formed to work immediately.
The Director General of Politics and Public Administration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bahtiar said that the rules regarding the formation of the selection team (Timsel) are in Law No. 7 of 2017.
“The selection team must be drawn up no later than six months before the end of the term of office of the election organizers,” he said during a discussion on the formation of the South Timor, Monday (4/10).
Since the end of the term of office of the KPU and Bawaslu is April 2022, the government must start forming South Timor in the next week or two. The series will start with the issuance of a Presidential Decree regarding South Timor. According to the rules, if there are eleven people, then South Timor will consist of three government representatives, four community representatives and four academics.
Member of the Honorary Council for Election Organizers (DKPP), Dr Alfitra Salamm, advised the government to pay attention to a number of things in the formation of South Timor. One of them is to include local figures.
“So far, South Timor has been dominated by Jakartans. Although we do not doubt that South Timor is very centralized, dominated by national figures, it may be necessary to consider regional figures whose quality, in my opinion, is not inferior to figures who live in Jakarta,” said Alfitra.
Alfitra also hopes that there will be more women in South Timor. In the past period, there was only one woman out of eleven people. Alfitra suggested that there should be at least three women in it.
After the formation of South Timor, the process will begin with the registration of candidates for KPU commissioners and Bawaslu members followed by a number of tests. South Timor then submitted the names of the candidates to the President around February 2022. In March, the President submitted a list of candidates to the DPR, followed by a fit and proper test by the DPR. The process ends with the inauguration of the KPU commissioners and elected Bawaslu members around April 2022.
Lecturer from the Department of Political Science, University of Indonesia, Sri Budi Eko Wardani saw the process of filling the KPU commissioners and Bawaslu members as challenging. One of the most difficult, is a matter of resources that have potential.
“Our recruitment sources are actually the current incumbents, NGO activists, especially election observers, and academics who are engaged in electoral or legal issues. There are not many academics who are concerned about election issues,” said Sri Budi.
Another challenge is the issue of unequal electoral knowledge in Indonesia. In fact, KPU commissioners and Bawaslu members are not only at the center, but also in the regions.
“Sometimes for the KPU and Bawaslu in the regions, when they enter, they are elected” learning by doing. So of course it requires supervision from above,” he added.
The selection team will also encounter problems related to the track record of the integrity of the candidate, due to the lack of information. The selection process is also relatively gender neutral, which in fact does not give women more opportunities to be elected. Female candidates are sometimes excluded, due to certain considerations, which according to Sri Budi need a deeper study.
“There are also those who during the selection process were pregnant and made her not elected, because they are considered pregnant people are not in good health, and have the potential to interfere with their work, if they are elected to Bawaslu or KPU,” said Sri Budi.
Another challenge that is no less big is the matter of political interests. The selection process is still full of political interests, said Sri Budi, because of the strong role of the DPR. On the other hand, Sri Budi suggested that the representation of women in KPU and Bawaslu should be mandatory, and more than one person. With this obligation, South Timsel can design a list of candidate names, which will allow the final election results to include women in it.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Political and Governmental Studies Program Fisipol, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Mada Sukmajati asked for mutual respect and close cooperation between the DPR and the formed South Timor. In addition, the actual supervisory performance should not stop after the KPU and Bawaslu have just started working.
“Although South Timor and the DPR are working hard, there is no guarantee that the election organizers who will be elected will not violate their authority. There are no guarantees,” said Mada.
For this reason, public participation should not stop at the recruitment process this time. Supervision of the KPU and Bawaslu must continue.
“Don’t assume that this is the choice of both South Timor and the DPR, so that you become an angel who cannot be wrong,” he added.
Everything becomes more difficult, because in the context of 2024, the general election will be tougher than the previous event.
Not Free of Interest
The chairman of Commission II of the DPR, Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, said that the problem of managing the general election in the future could be solved if the problems upstream could be resolved. What he referred to as a problem upstream was the ability to present KPU commissioners and members of the central Bawaslu with integrity and quality.
The integrity and quality of the KPU and the Central Bawaslu or have a major impact on their ranks down to the bottom. In addition to leadership, an understanding of elections and technical issues must be mastered well. Commission II, said Ahmad Doli, is committed to pushing the process from start to finish to meet the standards.
“We are trying our best to avoid subjectivity, and interests, especially political interests,” he said.
For that reason, Timsel was created by the government. The DPR hopes that the government stands above all interests.
Deputy Chairman of Commission II of the DPR, Junimart Girsang, also admitted that the interest factor will always exist.
“We are honest, that in this life we all have an interest. But we distinguish between political interests, personal interests, communal interests and other interests,” he said.
The entire process that takes place within the KPU and Bawaslu is of political interest. However, said Junimart, political interests should not harm anyone. Commission II itself has started to open a conversation regarding the fit and proper test later. The DPR promises to fully deepen the track records of the candidates.
“To get KPU commissioners and Bawaslu members who have finished with themselves,” said Junimart.
The DPR doesn’t want it, there are corruption cases in both the central and regional KPU, as has happened before. [ns/ab]