In addition to the challenges due to natural factors, there are security issues in various districts in mountainous areas.
Meanwhile, the factual verification of political party membership in coastal areas, such as Mamberamo Raya, Sarmi, Biak Numfor, Supiori, Waropen, Nabire, and Yapen Islands District, must part the Papua North Pacific Ocean.
However, this challenge did not dampen the enthusiasm of KPU commissioners to conduct the factual verification of political parties as candidates for the 2024 General Election, which is now being carried out by KPU commissioners in 29 districts and cities in Papua.
“The KPU office in Biak is conducting factual verification of 1,600 members of nine political parties to remote island villages in the Padaido and Aimando Islands to Numfor Island," head of KPU Biak Mathias Jan Morin remarked.
According to Morin, direct face-to-face visits by KPU commissioners with members of certain political parties in remote areas are a consequence of the mandate of Article 178, paragraph (2) of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning General Elections (Election Law) that regulates the stages of registration and verification of election participants that must be conducted 14 months before voting day.
In addition, KPU Regulation Number 4 of 2022 concerning Registration, Verification, and Determination of Political Parties Participating in the General Election of Members of the People's Representative Council and Regional People's Representative Council also requires the same regulation.
Another regulation, specifically the General Election Commission (PKPU) Regulation Number 3 of 2022 concerning the Stages and Schedule for the Implementation of the 2024 General Election, stated that registration and verification of election participants would take place from July 29, 2022, to December 13, 2022.
"According to the existing rules, PKPU Number 4 of 2022 regulates the task of KPU Biak Numfor to carry out factual verification of nine political parties as candidates for the 2024 General Election," he explained.
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Three ways of verification
Head of Papua Province KPU Diana Dortea Simbiak noted that factual verification of the membership of nine political parties, as candidates for the 2024 General Election in 29 districts and cities of Papua Province, is still ongoing amid several natural challenges that must be faced with high level of difficulty.
For instance, the KPU verification team must travel to a remote area, passing through forests and valleys, to reach the verification points.
Verification officers in the coastal areas of the islands had to face strong sea waves to conduct factual verification.
"KPU commissioners in 29 districts and cities in Papua are currently carrying out a challenging task because they are verifying the factual membership of nine political parties as candidates for the 2024 General Election. In fact, some have chartered an airplane to go to the location and meet members of political parties that will be verified," she remarked.
Despite the challenges, the verification of membership of nine political parties is still ongoing until November 4, 2022.
She later outlined three methods of factual verification of political party membership. First, to come and meet directly at the house of the member of the political party concerned while the second method involves gathering all members to be verified by KPU at the political parties’ offices.
“While the third method will use communication technology with video calls via android cellular phone services," Simbiak added.
However, for factual verification through video calls with members of political parties whose names are included in the list, the KPU is often constrained by unstable cellular networks and inaccessible roads to certain village and district areas.
Although the challenges are complex, the KPU commissioners in 29 districts and cities throughout Papua that are carrying out the task can still work with enthusiasm to realize the 2024 Election in Papua to be democratic, clean, honest, fair, and with integrity.
Whatever on-field challenges arise while conducting duties must be accepted with sincerity as a form of dedication by KPU members to maintain democracy in Papua.
Anticipating political party lawsuits
Meanwhile, the Law Division of the KPU Papua Province, Zandra Mambrasar, reminded the factual verification team to work honestly and fairly while following applicable rules to avoid lawsuits by political parties.
Mambrasar addressed that the KPU, as an independent institution that carries out the duties of the 2024 General Election, should comply with the applicable laws and regulations.
Anticipating lawsuits from the factual verification stage must be considered carefully by the verification team.
"In order to avoid administrative dispute lawsuits at the General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the State Administrative Court (PTUN), the verification team must conduct its duties in accordance with the rules and do it correctly and professionally," he affirmed.
The KPU's Legal Division in 29 districts and cities throughout Papua has been given technical guidance in handling the prevention of potential administrative disputes from political parties through the Papua KPU workshop in Biak.
Results of factual verification of the membership of political parties, as candidates for the 2024 General Election in Papua, are expected to be the start of the success of an honest and fair direct democratic process to introduce a trustworthy representative of the people to improve the welfare of Papua residents.
Nine political parties, as candidates for the 2024 General Election that have undergone factual verification of membership, include PSI, Garuda Party, Perindo, Crescent Star Party, Hanura Party, Labor Party, Gelora Party, Ummat Party, and the Nusantara Awakening Party.
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