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Finding common ground on poll campaign period, budget, mobile app

Finding common ground on poll campaign period, budget, mobile app

Golkar Party Chief Airlangga Hartarto (third left) with PAN Chief Zulkifli Hasan (third right) and PPP Chairman Suharso Monoarfa (second left) after a meeting on Thursday (May 12, 2022). ANTARA PHOTO/Indrianto Eko Suwarso/YU

On April 12, 2022, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated Asy'ari and his colleagues -- Betty Epsilon Idroos, Mochammad Afifuddin, Parsadaan Harahap, Yulianto Sudrajat, Idham Holik, and August Mellaz -- as KPU RI commissioners for the 2022–2027 term.

The new commissioners of the General Elections Commission (KPU) vouched to pursue the prompt finalization of the 2024 general elections regulations as one of their first agendas.

On Saturday (May 14), at a working committee meeting, also known as konsinyering meeting, with Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR RI), the Ministry of Home Affairs and the general election organizers, KPU, Bawaslu (General Elections Supervisory Agency), and DKPP (Election Organizer Honorary Council) explored the possibility of shortening the campaign period from the initially proposed 120 days to 75 days.

The campaign period, according to Commission II, can be shortened to 75 days if two conditions concerning the mechanism for procurement of election logistics and technicalities for resolving election disputes are met.

House Commission II member Guspardi Gaus, when contacted by ANTARA here on Saturday, said the campaign period can be shortened as long as the government is able to meet regulatory requirements to change the procurement mechanism for electoral goods and services.

"What we expect is the government's regulation is in the form of a presidential decree to smoothen matters related to logistics procurement,” he explained.

The second condition pertains to the technical resolution of disputes involving the Supreme Court (MA) and the Constitutional Court (MK), he added.

"The task of the House, together with the government, (is to further) facilitate meetings with the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court to give convenience or make an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding on) how to respond to the implementation of the 75-day campaign because it is related to the trial period at the State Administrative Court (PTUN), the mechanism of which is regulated by the Supreme Court," he elaborated.

If the two conditions can be met, Gaus said that he believes the 2024 general elections campaign period can be shortened to 75 days.

The same was also conveyed by House Commission II member Rifqi Karsayuda.

Karsayuda said that during the work meeting, the KPU had proposed a campaign period of 90 days, while all political party factions in Commission II had requested a shorter duration of 75 days with two conditions.

"First, changes in the mechanism of procurement of goods and services or election logistics be made simpler, efficient, transparent, and accountable," he informed.

Second, Commission II asked the government and election organizers to draft a codification of the election procedural law, he added.

"Of course, (the drafting will) involve not only the government and election organizers but also the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court," he said.

The discussion about the campaign period was one of the five issues discussed at the konsinyering meeting between the House, the Home Affairs Ministry, and the election organizers.

Four other issues that were considered crucial by participants at the meeting were the election budget, election digitization, logistics, and election disputes.

The results of the meeting will be discussed again during a hearing (RDP) between the committees. The reason: the konsinyering meeting was a semi-formal meeting whose purpose was to find common ground from differences in views on election implementation.

The goal of the meeting was to build inter-institutional understanding on several issues that often spark debate, including budgets, dispute resolution, campaign periods, and procurement of election logistics.

The work committee meeting was a part of the agenda for equalizing perceptions, and it was not an official agenda whose decision was official. "The official decision (will be taken during) the RDP,” Karsayuda said.

"In essence, the konsinyering is useful to facilitate, equalize perceptions, and refine the meetings that we will do in order to respond to the implementation of the 2024 general election," Gaus added.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, the general election committees also signaled that the board members might approve the proposed 2024 election budget of Rp76 trillion.

"From Rp86 trillion (down) to Rp76 trillion. It means that there are already behaviors and steps of the KPU (which take) our inputs and suggestions (into account),” Gaus informed.

KPU can save more funds if the budget proposal is less than Rp86 trillion, he added. The budget savings include changing the budget cap for honors for the election ad hoc committee, he continued.

"(In the initial budget proposal draft), 70 percent of the funds are only for the honors, now it has been reduced," Gaus informed.

KPU can save more expenditure by cutting other budgets if it can approach the Ministry of Home Affairs to request warehouse facilities, he said.

Digitalization

Through synergy and commitment, the members of election organizing bodies KPU and Bawaslu can mitigate the 2024 election problems and save more budget funds.

One of the efforts for anticipating electoral disputes is strengthening the Recapitulation Information System (Sirekap) to prevent people’s votes from being manipulated.

"The system will provide convenience for officers to recapitulate the votes. It will also serve as a publication tool for the vote counting results at polling stations (TPS). It is fast and accessible to the public. Thus, it is also expected to keep the voting results credible,” KPU Commissioner Evi Novida Ginting Manik said.

Using Sirekap, the recapitulation copies can be converted into digital data, thus it will reduce the workload on officers, she added.

She informed that the system includes Sirekap Mobile and Sirekap Web. The KPU will provide one account on Sirekap Mobile to one officer at each TPS.

After counting votes, the officers will manually write the results in a report called C Plano. The report will be photographed and uploaded on the Sirekap Mobile app.

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