Home Special Coverage The Chief of the Special Committee for the New Elections Law Bill: We Need to Cancel Out Overseer Officer If We Are Going to Introduce Observer from Political Party

The Chief of the Special Committee for the New Elections Law Bill: We Need to Cancel Out Overseer Officer If We Are Going to Introduce Observer from Political Party

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The Chief of the Special Committee for the new Elections Law Bill, Muhammad Lukman Edy, confirms the rumor that he and his team might allocate some budget from the National State Budget to finance the salary of election observer representing political party. However, Lukman also says that the Special Committee is still discussing whether they will actually implementing the idea.

“We are considering the idea. However, we haven’t decided whether we will actually implementing it because we will need the approval of the Finance Minister,” says Lukman in Jakarta (05/03).

The Special Committee first proposed the idea to allow political parties to delegate their own election observers at polling station during a meeting with the government to discuss the increase of subsidy for political party. Members of the Special Committee and government has agreed to increase the amount of subsidy to political parties, but they haven’t decided on the specific amount of the increase.

Lukman explains that the increase is necessary to guarantee that the election process in Indonesia is in accordance with the free and fair principle. The increase is to help small parties to be able to delegate their own election observers at polling stations.

“Many minor parties are not able to finance their own delegates at polling stations. Even PKB (Nation Awakening Party) is not able to finance any delegate,” says Lukman.

However, according to Lukman, he will have to cancel out the official election overseer if the new Elections Law allows political parties to delegate their own observers. Lukman also provide a cautionary reminder: the cost of allowing political party to delegate their own observers is significantly higher than the current method of employing official overseers. The cost for employing official election overseer is 302 billion rupiahs, while the cost for allowing each party to delegate its own observer is 1.3 trillion rupiahs.

The Chairman of the Election Monitoring Body (Bawaslu), Muhammad Afifuddin, says that Bawaslu is committed to improve the quality of the official election observers in election. Afifuddin says the Parliament members do not need to allow political party to delegate election observer if they put more trust in Bawaslu to conduct monitoring activities.

“The cost for letting political party to delegate observers is just to high. They should just let us do the monitoring and observing activities,” says Afifuddin.

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