The Elections Law Bill is Loaded With Criminal Laws and Regulations

The newest draft of the Elections Law Bill issued on June 10th 2017 is loaded with criminal laws and regulations. There are 74 Articles that deals with criminal violations. There are even several new sanctions and penal regulations.

Here are some of activities that are categorized as criminal violations in the Elections Law Bill:

  1. Conducting campaign activities not within the time slot allocated by the Elections Commission.

  2. Making false statement in campaign financial report.

  3. Any Polling Station Committee member who deliberately fail to provide replacement for defective ballot and fail to put this replacement into minutes.

  4. Assisting voter to vote in the ballot or disclose the vote of any voter to other people.

  5. Any Polling Station Committee member who refuse to conduct re-election as decided by the Elections Commission.

  6. Any Polling Station Committee member who does not sign the minutes of the voting process and/or the minutes of the votes counting process and the certificate of votes counting result.

  7. Damaging or losing the minutes of the voting process.

  8. Any member of the Elections Commission, Elections Committee, and/or Polling Station Committee who loses or alters the minutes of the votes counting process or the certificate of votes counting certificate.

  9. Any member of the Polling Station Committee who fail to provide a copy of the minutes of the voting process and the copy of minutes of the votes counting process to the official election witnesses and members of the Elections Committee.

  10. Any member of the Elections Commission (village level) who does not witness the handover process of sealed ballot boxes from the Election Committee (village level) to Election Committee (sub-district level).

  11. Any member of Election Monitoring Committee who does not oversee the handover process of sealed ballot boxes from Election Committee (sub-district level) to the Election Commission (regency/municipality level) and does not provide any report to the Election Monitoring Body.

  12. Any activity that causes any person to lose their voting right.

  13. Any activity that causes anyone to lose their right to participate in election as candidate.

  14. Any member of the Elections Commission, Election Committee, and Polling Station Committee who fail to follow up report from the Election Monitoring Body and Election Monitoring Committee regarding the updating and recapitulating process of voters list that causes anyone to lose their right to vote.

  15. Any member of the Elections Commission who fail to provide copies of voters list to all political party participating in the election.

  16. Specifically for the Chairperson of Elections Commission: printing ballots more than the specified amount.

The Executive Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Titi Anggraini, criticizes the fact that the Elections Law Bill is loaded with criminal codes. According to Titi, penal sanction is not effective. For most of election participants, administrative sanction, such as being disqualified or banned from election participation, is more discouraging than penal sanction.

“Many of our recommendation in this regards were rejected (by the legislators). They use criminal approach instead, as if it is more effective in fostering free and fair elections,” says Titi in Jakarta (06/20).

In addition, penal sanctions will only add unnecessary burden for the correctional institution. “Currently, our correctional institution is over-capacity,” says Titi.

Accoridng to Titi, it would be better to fire and replace an Election Committee member who committed violation than to put him in jail. Imprisonment will not affect the election process by much.