Regional official details election commission threats to get political parties verified

CNN Indonesia – December 20, 2022
Sign on KPU building in Jakarta showing days left until 2024 elections – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – A regional General Elections Commission (KPUD) commissioner has revealed the threats made by KPU national Commissioner Idham Holik so that they would change the status of the Indonesian People's Wave Party (Gelora), the Nusantara Awakening Party (PKN) and the Garuda Party so they could take part in the 2024 elections.

The KPUD commissioner, who declined to give their name, said that Holik threatened to put all of the regency and municipal KPUD officials in hospital if they did not implement the instructions of the provincial KPU commissioners on the factual verification of the political parties wanting to contest the elections.

Acceding to the official, the threat was conveyed during a national KPU consolidation meeting with all of the KPUDs throughout Indonesia that was held at the Ancol entertainment park in North Jakarta.

"One of the national KPU members said this was a directive that must be implemented. Or later we would be put in hospital", said the source on CNN Indonesia TV’s The Political Show on Monday evening, December 19.

The KPUD commissioner claimed that they did not understand what was meant by the term "hospital" as conveyed by Holik. According to the source however, the directive was not given in the context of a joke.

According to the source, during the consolidation meeting Holik did not give any specific instructions, saying only that the instruction had already been conveyed to KPU provincial commissioners.

"He ordered to MS [pass] all [three political parties], at this regency, that municipality, this regency, that municipality, even though they had failed to meet the requirements [to pass the factual verification stage]", said the source.

In addition to threatening to send the KPUD officials to hospital, said the source, Holik also invited regional KPU officials to leave (resign) if they failed to follow the instructions from the national and provincial offices.

"The language delivered by our leadership in the province for those who do not follow [the instruction] was please leave the ranks [of the KPU], exit the cartridge", said the source.

"Meaning being ordered to resign or for ones [who agreed] it was hoped they would join [the KPU] again in the next period", he added.

Holik, who is the coordinator of the KPU's Election Organisation Technical Division and who was present at The Political Show program, denied that his instructions were in the context of passing certain political parties. According to Holik, the directed was conveyed in the context of ensuring that regional KPUs implemented the instructions contained in a circular (SE) issued by the central KPU.

The circular primarily regulated the factual verification mechanisms for political parties wanting to contest the 2024 elections. Because, said Holik, several provincial and regency level KPUs still had not followed the directives in accordance with the circular.

"The context was those who were not perpendicular, meaning those not disciplined in implementing the SE and what was in the SE. And it was not in the context of fulfilling or not fulfilling the requirements [to pass the factual verification]", said Holik.

Political parties’ response

Gelora Party Deputy Chairperson Fahri Hamzah has denied any knowledge of the alleged cheating in the political party factual verification process.

"Let them get on with their work, yeah", said Hamzah during an Unpacking Indonesia event in the Setiabudi area of South Jakarta on Friday December 16.

Hamzah insisted that they know nothing whatsoever about the alleged cheating. He claimed that he trusts in the elections which have a system and stages, starting with the KPU as the organisers, the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) as the monitoring body and the Election Organisers Ethics Council (DKPP) as the institution to adjudicate the code of ethics.

"We don't know anything about this. This is a dynamic from civil society that we respect, right. But if there isn't any data [supporting the allegations] there's no need to pursue it, right", he said.

Separately, Garuda Party Deputy Chairperson Teddy Gusnaidi stated that they respect all of the mechanisms that are being followed but claimed not to want to give a response to the alleged intimidation by Holik.

"I don't wish to respond, they have their own mechanisms [to deal with this]. If anyone is dissatisfied, yeah, just go through the mechanisms", said Gusnaidi.

"We must respect the process regardless, including us, if there are improvements and so on, we respect it, we don’t' want to blame anyone, we're just going through [the process]", he said.

The PKN meanwhile has yet to make any response to the allegations. CNN Indonesia has tried to contact PKN Chairperson Gede Pasek Suardika and PKN Secretary General Sri Mulyono but neither has responded as of this article being published. (mts/DAL)


According to a report by the Jakarta Post, the Gelora Party had its eligibility falsified because it is a rival of the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), having been formed following a split within the PKS in 2019. Likewise the PKN is likely to rival the Democrat Party as many of its members were drawn away from the Democrats. The PKS and the Democrats are not part of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ruling coalition and position themselves as the parliamentary opposition. The Garuda Party meanwhile has been deeply involved in the judicial reviews filed against the Elections Law at the Constitutional Court, one of which resulted in allowing government ministers to run as election candidates.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KPUD Ungkap Ancaman Idham Holik: Gelora, PKN, Garuda Lolos Pemilu 2024".]