House Orders Jakarta Election Authority to Update Voter List
Ezra Sihite & Lenny Tristia Tambun
The House of Representatives has given the organizer of Jakarta’s elections one week to update its voter list amid suspicions of fraud ahead of July 11 gubernatorial ballot.
The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) planned to release the final list of eligible voters today, but after criticism of the list’s accuracy, the agency this week postponed the announcement.
Election watchdogs, governor hopefuls and the Jakarta Regional Representatives Council earlier contested figures released by the KPUD that indicated there were as many as 7 million eligible voters.
But the Home Affairs Ministry recently said it planned to issue just 5.6 million electronic KTP identity cards for the capital. Bearers of Jakarta identity cards who are aged 17 or older, are mentally fit and are not in prison are eligible to vote.
“The difference [between the figures] is too immense to ignore,” Golkar Party lawmaker Nurul Arifin said.
Several lawmakers from House Commission II, which oversees home affairs, visited the KPUD office on Friday to hear official explanations for the discrepancy in the number of eligible voters.
“We are asking that the list be revised and we are asking that they do it in seven days,” said Commission II chairman Agun Gunandjar Sudarsa, also from Golkar.
He said the revision was vital for the credibility of the election results, but he added that the updating process should not hinder preparations for the poll.
“We need to conduct this verification … so that whoever is elected governor and deputy governor won’t face any contest to their legitimacy,” Agun said.
“I am optimistic that the KPUD can perform the update on this voters list because we cannot postpone the election.”
KPUD chairwoman Dahliah Umar said her office was formulating the best way to conduct the revision, adding that the process would not delay the schedule.
“We don’t want any suspicion toward this voter list. We are committed to a fair and honest election, so it is better for us to postpone the finalized list to ensure that the data is as accurate and valid as possible,” she said.
Several gubernatorial candidates have threatened to file a lawsuit against the KPUD if it fails to revise its estimate of 7 million voters, while others said that the inaccuracy was deliberate.
“We have no intention to manipulate the voter list,” Dahliah said.
Agun said the KPUD should send progress reports to all six candidates participating in the election before the final list is announced next Friday.