50 anti-corruption advocates call for probe into Indonesian ‘election fraud’

A protest in front of Parliament building in Jakarta
A protest in front of Parliament building in Jakarta demanding a right of inquiry into alleged election fraud earlier this month. Image: CNN Indonesia

The letters, which were published last week, were addressed to Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Chairperson Megawati Sukarnoputri, National Democrat Party (NasDem) Chairperson Surya Paloh, National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar, Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) President Ahmad Syaikhu and United Development Party (PPP) Chairperson Muhammad Mardiono.

In the letter, the social justice advocates said fraudulent practices happened in the 2024 elections last month.

“In our monitoring, the alleged election fraud that has been questioned by the public occurred not only on voting day, February 14, 2024, but also from the beginning of the election process until after the vote count carried out by the General Elections Commission (KPU) and other officials in power,” read the letter.

They said that this fraud not only hurt the ordinary people’s conscience but also gave rise to unrest.

This could be seen from discussion among the public and on social media as well as widespread statements by professors and university lecturers.

If fraud was allowed, the letter continued, then law enforcement would be derided and democracy would collapse.

‘Acting arbitrarily, ruthlessly’
“Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the election fraud continue to act arbitrarily and become increasingly ruthless, no longer just reviving rotten and depraved precedents in the election process,” the letter read.

As a consequence, the public would not obey the leadership in power and the state policies it produced. It was hoped that the political parties would mobilise House of Representatives (DPR) faction members to propose and launch a right of inquiry.

“We are very confident and have very high hopes, that the political parties will save this nation so that they are intentionally involved in intensively maintaining the law, law enforcement and democracy and democratisation in Indonesia by saving the 2024 elections,” the letter read.

The social justice advocates themselves consist of a number of activists, academics, and former KPK employees, such as Novel Baswedan, Bivitri Susanti, Usman Hamid, Faisal Basri, Fatia Maulidiyanti, Saut Situmorang, Agus Sunaryanto and Haris Azhar.

Several political parties have already responded to the proposal for a right of inquiry in Parliament. The NasDem Party said it was ready to support the proposal and was preparing the needed requirements.

“Currently the faction leadership is preparing the materials needed as a condition for submitting a right of inquiry, including collecting signatures from faction members”, said NasDem Party central leadership board chairperson Taufik Basari.

Measured steps
Basari said that they could not propose a right of inquiry by themselves, because it must involve at least two political party factions in the House. He said each political step taken needed to be measured.

Support has also been expressed by a DPR member from the PKB faction, Luluk Nur Hamidah. He believes that the 2024 elections were the “most brutal” he has ever taken part in since reformasi — referring to the political reform process that began in 1998.

“In all the elections I have participated in since the 1999 elections I have never seen an election process that was as brutal and painful as this, where political ethics and morals were at a minus point, if it cannot be said to be at zero”, said Hamidah when making an interruption at a DPR plenary meeting at the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Tuesday, March 5.

Meanwhile PDI-P Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto claimed that internally the PDI-P was not divided on the plan to initiate a right of inquiry into fraud in the 2024 elections.

“There’s no [split]. Because we often talk about it as an important political process in the DPR”, he said at the University of Indonesia (UI) Social and Political Science Faculty in Depok, West Java, on Thursday March 7.

Kristiyanto revealed that the plan for a right of inquiry has already entered the stage of forming a special team. This team, he continued, had already issued recommendations and academic studies related to the right of inquiry plan.

He said that later the academic study would be complemented with findings in the field on alleged election fraud.

“Because the dimensions are very wide. Because of the dimension of the misuse of power and misuse of the APBN [state budget], the intimidation and various upstream and downstream aspects,” he said.

Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “50 Tokoh Antikorupsi Surati Partai-partai Desak Hak Angket Pemilu”.

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