April 19, 2024

Is the Political Party Verification Requirements Fair Enough?

The verification requirements for political party that wants to participate in election is an important issue that needs more attention in the whole debacle of the making of the new Elections Law. Factual verification process will filter out parties that will participate in legislative election. The verification requirements should be equally imposed to all parties, old and new.

“The current requirements are strict enough already. What we need to remember is that old parties have already been verified for the 2014 Elections, while new parties haven’t,” says a member of the special committee responsible to make the new Elections Law, Fandi Utomo, in Jakarta (05/18).

Fandi says that the Constitutional Court (MK) does not ordain any re-verification process. The decision by MK in 2013 was made because the requirements that must be met by political party in 2014 are different with the requirements in 2009.

The General Secretary of the Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI), Raja Julia Antoni, says that he doesn’t have any objection with the requirements imposed by the parliament in the draft of the new Elections Law. PSI is prepared to compete in the 2019 Elections. However, Raja says, the requirements must be imposed equally to all political parties.

“Five years is a long time. Many parties dissolve during five-years time. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to conduct party verification every five years,” says Raja (05/22).

The General Secretary of the Green Party of Indonesia, Dian Abraham, writes in his article published in IndoProgress.com that the current legal framework for party verification process is discriminatory against small parties trying to develop their political influence from one local area to another.

“The regulation is undemocratic and tend to encourage oligarchy. Political oligarchy starts in the party registration system. Not every party is able to finance the establishment of branch office in 100 percent of province, 75 percent of regency/municipality, and 50 percent of sub-district,” Dian writes.

Recommendations from Civil Society

In the draft of the Codified Elections Law made by the Joint Secretariat consisted of 30 different non-governmental organizations (NGOs), there is a regulation recommendation that every political party that wishes to participate in legislative election does not have to establish branch office as obligated in the Law No.8/2012, but they only have to have members in the amount of the number of votes required for a party to win a seat in parliament in the area where they participating.

For example, Party A has 200,000 members in West Java. Party A then has the rights to participate in the election in that electoral area, by submitting signature of supporters as a verification requirement.

With this mechanism, small parties that have no financial means to establish branch office in 75 percent of provinces will have a chance to compete to win a seat in parliament. This way, political party does not have to compete in all electoral areas in a legislative election. They only have to participate in an electoral area in which they have the chance to win. []