Aceh’s Local Election Observers Coalition, which consists of Civil Society Organizations Forum of Aceh, Initiative Survey Network, Ideas Aceh, and the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), publish their observation report on the process of Aceh’s Local Election. The observation was conducted from 14 to 15 February 2017.
The Coalition uses three methods of observation: direct observation, pooling complaints and reports from the public via SMS Center, and media monitoring. The observation was conducted by volunteers of the Coalition in 16 regencies/municipalities in the Province of Aceh.
“We receive reports and complaints via SMS on phone number +6282273847384. Anyone can send their report anytime. Meanwhile, to cover violations that might not be reported via SMS, we also conducted media monitoring,” says a volunteer of the Coalition, Kholilullah Pasaribu, to Rumah Pemilu (02/16).
Based on the observation activity, the Coalition finds 19 cases of electoral violations. There are various types of violations found: intimidation, terror, money politics, double voting, and elimination of voters in the voters’ registry. There are 4 violations occurred in Pidie and Bireun, 3 violations in Aceh Besar, 2 violations in East Aceh, and 1 violations in West Aceh, Langsa, Banda Aceh, Pidie Jaya, North Aceh, and Lhokseumawe.
In Pidie, the types of violation occurred are intimidation on voters by members of the Aceh Transition Committee (KPA), intimidation on electoral officers at polling stations by one of the candidates’ campaign team, and double voting.
“On the night of February 14th 2017, a group of people from KPA came to the house of widows of the victims of Aceh Conflict in the Sub-District of Tangse Tiro and Glumpang Tiga. They told the widows to vote for the incumbent candidate (Sarjani), or else Aceh will see another civil war. They also threatened many teachers in the area,” says Kholilullah.
In Bireun, there is a case of hassle at Polling Station No.1 in Gampong Pante Gajah between a campaign team and election officials, a batch of ballots that already have been punched for candidate number 1 (Ruslan M. Daud), and practice of money politics by the campaign team of candidate number 6 in Bireun local election (Saifannur).
“The hassle is caused by an allegation by the campaign team that one of the election officials working at the polling station is a member of campaign team of candidate number 6. The local police had to employ two groups of policemen to maintain safety and security,” says Kholilullah.
In Aceh Besar, there are some voters who voted even though they never been registered in the Voters’ Registry, there are eligible voters who are prohibited to vote, and in a polling station the election officials fail to provide reserved ballots when the ballots ran out.
In East Aceh, there is a group of unidentified persons who terrorized voters at Polling Station No.2 in Gampong Birem Rayeuk, Sub-District of Ranto Seulamat. There is also a hassle regarding the legitimacy of some votes at Polling Station No.1 in Gampong Paya Bili, Sub-District of Birem Bayeun.
In West Aceh, there is a report of bomb terror at the Regional Development Planning Office (Bappeda) of West Aceh in the morning on February 14th 2017. One worker report a suspicious parcel lying around on the parking lot east of the office. The bomb disposal team from the Police Force then detonate the bomb and bring the sample of the bomb to the Brimob Kuala Lab for forensic examination. Allegedly, the bomb was put by an identified person to terrorize the election process in West Aceh.
In Langsa, a group of unidentified persons terrorize and spy on the house of candidate number 3, Fazlun Hasan, in Gampong Meutia, Sub-District of Langsa Kota, at 3 AM in the morning on February 14th 2017. A witness, Ucok, says there were three cars spying the house from afar. At 5 AM, the cars were asked to leave by security officials in the area.
In Banda Aceh, there is a report that an election official at Polling Station number 6 in Gampong Beurawe, Hamzah, influences voters to vote for candidate number 2, Aminullah. Hamzah also refuse to distribute the copies of Voters’ Registry to the vote witnesses.
Meanwhile, in Pidie Jaya, there is a case of money politics in Deah Ujong Baroh Village, Sub-District of Trienggadeng. In North Aceh, many voters are prohibited to vote. In Lhokseumawe, election officials do not distribute the C6 forms to voters.
“In Deah Ujong Baroh Village, many people reported that there are several cars entering the village to distribute money to eligible voters for them to vote for candidate number 5, Muzakir Manaf,” says Kholilullah.
The Coalition says that the situation and condition of electoral process in Aceh is relatively peaceful and under control. The Coalition also asks the Election Monitoring Committee of Aceh and the Center for Integrated Law Enforcement (Gakkumdu) to immediately response and follow up the report on the violations.