A Regent Candidate in Jayapura Sues the Chairman of KPU to DKPP for Unfair Treatment

Abdul Jabar, the attorney of a regent candidate in Jayapura, Godlief Ohee, says his client is suing the Chairman of the Elections Commission (KPU), Arief Budiman, to the Elections Management’s Honor Council (DKPP). According to Abdul, Godlief is suing the Chairman because of the negligence on behalf of the Chairman to follow up the Elections Monitoring Body (Bawaslu)’s instruction to immediately disqualify the incumbent candidate, Mathius Awoitauwse.

“KPU of Papua have seven days to carry out the instruction. However, the Central KPU only sent their instruction letter to the KPU of Papua four days after the deadline. As the consequence, Bawaslu’s instruction had become obsolete,” says Abdul during DKPP hearing session in Jakarta (11/27).

Other than accusing Arief Budiman for negligence, Abdul and Godlief also accuse Arief for violating the impartiality principle by taking sides in favor of the incumbent candidate. Both Abdul and Godlief believe Arief deliberately sent the instruction letter late because, in previous occasion, KPU had no trouble issuing two instruction letters to their subsidiaries at provincial level in a relatively short time.

“Bawaslu previously had issued two instruction letters and KPU immediately carried out those instructions without so much hassle,” says Abdul.

Arief Budiman’s Reply

Arief states himself innocent from all the accusations made by Abdul and Godlief. Arief has two arguments against those accusations.

First, Arief beliefs his accusers do not understand the decision making process within KPU commissioners board. Arief argues, it is a mistake to only sue a member of KPU commissioners board while all decisions made by KPU are taken collectively by all members.

“In KPU, we cannot make a decision alone. All commissioners of KPU are responsible for any decision issued by KPU as an institution,” says Arief.

Second, Arief says, KPU commissioners did not deliberately send the instruction letters to KPU of Papua late. The reason why it took a long time for the letter to reach KPU of Papua is because the commissioners of Central KPU only received Bawaslu’s instruction letter on Wednesday, August 23rd 2017, while KPU commissioners hold plenary meeting every monday of the week.

“After we received the letter on Wednesday, on Thursday and Friday almost every commissioners were scheduled to go on official travel to various places across the country. However, during those three days, we have coordinated the matter over telecommunication so that, by monday, we will already have decision ready to be made,” Arief says.