Is The Preparation of 2017 Regional Election Chaotic?
Should there be no problem, the 2017 simultaneous elections will be held on February 15, 2017. Seven provinces will hold Governor Election, namely Aceh, West Papua, Papua, West Sulawesi, Banten, Jakarta and Babel, and in 76 districts will elect the Regents and in 18 cities to elect the mayors.
So far, there are still many problems in the preparation of 2017 elections that intended to be democratic electionsand ones with integrity. Some of these issues, among others, are the invalidity of the DPS and DPT, violations of regional election rules both in administrative violation and crime act, ongoing elections dispute, even the elections that only had a single candidate like in Buton Southeast Sulawesi. Another problem in the unneutral civil servant circles that happened in some areas such as Bangka (Bangka Belitung), Kendari (Southeast Sulawesi), Buol (Central Sulawesi), Cilacap and Banjarnegara (Central Java), Gorontalo, Banten, Siantar (North Sumatra), Mamuju (West Sulawesi) and other areas. A more massive case of the unneutral civil servants occurred in Nagan Raya (Aceh) and has caused some disputes leading to threats and intimidation as occurred in Pidie (Aceh), District Kambu, Kendari (Southeast Sulawesi), etc.
DPS and DPT problems arose in some regions due to several factors. The factors are the unfinished completion of Electronic ID card among first-time voters; the amount of double voting; inaccuracies of population data from Department of Population and Civil Registration and some other factors, such as the reluctance of the public to report to the authorities even if their names are not in DPT. Therefore, I agreed with some netizens on social media who gave some suggestions to the Department of Population and Civil Registration in prioritizing the recording process of electronic ID in the areas that will hold elections in 2017.
However, the impact of the double DPT can potentially be misused to win one candidate, resulting in disputes over local elections. Therefore, Election Supervisory Committee (Banwaslu) and General Elections Commission (KPU) needs to create a regulation to fix the DPT and increase supervision to determine the number of DPT.
Election and Violence
Banwaslu that composes Election Insecurity Index locates three provinces that are considered into vulnerable areas. Potential violations occurred in Aceh, Banten, and West Papua. Those provinces are selected because of the high insecurity that matches in the three elements of the Election Insecurity Index. Those three elements are the election organizers, participants, and voter’s participation.
Based on the study of Society For Elections and Democracy, there are seven stages where violence most likely break out, they are formation of electoral districts stage, registration of candidates stage, campaign period, quiet-time polling period, voting, determination of results, until the determination of the candidates that is elected by Constitutional Court (MK ). There are two phases that often create friction among people, first is campaign period. During the campaign, conflict often breaks out triggered by offense among supporters.
Every election event is always accompanied by violence, for example, the election of the Governor of Aceh in 2012. According to The Aceh Institute, there were 77 cases of violence that occurred. The most prone area wasLhokseumawe with 16 cases of violence, North Aceh as many as 14 cases, Pidie 12 cases, and East Aceh 11 cases. Meanwhile, the forms of violence are including intimidation, 21 cases of psychological threats, 14 cases of verbal threats, 12 cases of violent acts and 35 cases of destruction of facilities and campaign tools.
Therefore, I also predict that the governor election in 2017 in Aceh will also be loaded with violence, especially because some of the candidates were from high-ranking ex-GAM or KPA, thatwas considered by some observers as the reflection of “internal conflict” in Aceh Party itself.
Papua Police Chief Inspector Paul Waterpauw mentioned that there are three districts in the hinterland of Papua that are quite prone to the circumstances of the elections on February 15, 2017. “Three districts are quite vulnerable, namely Tolikara, Puncak Jaya, and Lanny Jaya,” said Paul Waterpauw in Timika, Monday (7/11). According to him, the three districts were considered vulnerable due to geographical and topographical conditions of the area that is challenging and coupled with extreme weather conditions. Not to mention, in some areas there are still some armed groups that often disturb local security. Paulus welcomed the decision of the local KPU, which eventually passed John Tabo-Barnabas Weya in Tolikara Election and Stephen Kaisma-Mustafa Salam (incumbent) in Mappi elections. It was considered crucial to ensure the implementation of democracy in these two districts because the best candidates are participating as well as to minimize potential vulnerability. Simultaneous elections on February 15, 2017, will take part in 11 districts/cities, such as Jayapura City, Jayapura district, Puncak Jaya, Nduga, Tolikara, Lanny Jaya, Intan Jaya, Sarmi, Mappi, Dogiyai and Yapen Islands (http: // thetanjungpuratimes.com/2016/11/08/63462/)
Netizens on various social media have also given a suggestion to the government to increase the military and police force in Aceh and Papua, especially in vulnerable areas in the elections of 2017 to ensure the elections in Aceh and Papua run safely and smoothly. I hope that the central government will respond to the voices of netizens.
In order to eliminate violence and conflictduring the 2017 election, the community or the actual voters are expectingthe political elite to have mature attitudes, emotions, behavior and motivation in mobilizing mass to achieve the constructivegoals rather than destructive ones. Moreover, all the stakeholders of 2017 elections such as KPU, Bawaslu, including the security forces and the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as candidates’ supporters of 2017 elections are to improve coordination, communication and synergy with each other so that the preparation of 2017 Regional Election that seems chaotic can be resolved.
* Herdiansyah Rahman, a regional observer issue. Residing at East Jakarta.