The new Elections Law contains a new provision which imposes that the Elections Commission must provide transparent ballot boxes for election process. Many people have suspicion that the provision was a special request by the Parliament members before the Bill was passed.
The provision is also heavily criticized. According to activists from the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) and a member of the Elections Commission, Hasyim Asy’ari, the provision is unjustified. According to Law No.12/2011 on Regulations of Policy Making, it is forbidden for policy maker to include a normative provision in an explanatory clause and to include a reform that is not properly informed to stakeholders.
We talk with Muhammad Lukman Edy, a Parliament member and the Chief of the Special Committee for the new Elections Law, about this issue (07/31).
Many people think the provision in the new Elections Law on transparent ballot box is a special request from the Parliament members. Is this true?
The provision was included in the Law properly. We didn’t even try to hide the provision from stakeholders, and it was agreed upon by the government and the majority of Parliament members.
We never try to “smuggle” special provision in the Elections Law. What is that even mean? This is unfair framing from the media.
The Chairman of the Elections Commission, Arief Budiman, says that he only aware of the provision after the Bill was passed.
It is true, KPU doesn’t know about this provision beforehand. We didn’t tell them about this provision because we don’t want any undue transaction between our members and theirs. It is not mandatory for us to ask KPU’s opinion whenever we’re making an election law.
Why do you think the ballot box in election should be transparent?
The idea came up after the Parliament members read the report from the Elections Commission that the available ballot boxes in Commission’s inventory are mostly damaged and cannot be used for the upcoming elections.
Also, we want to prevent any fraud in the voting process. Transparent ballot boxes can maintain the quality of the election process by minimizing fraud.
Is that all?
The upcoming 2019 National Elections will be the first true concurrent elections where we will be holding five different elections at once: presidential election and four different legislative elections. Therefore, the Commission will need to provide five ballot boxes for every polling station. It will be kind of weird if there are only two transparent boxes, while the rest three are non-transparent.