Coalition finds all presidential candidates, political parties committed fraud

Source – February 23, 2024
Hemi Lavour, Feri Amsari and Sasmito Madrim speaking at press conference in Jakarta – February 22, 2024 (Kompas)

Willy Medi Christian Nababan, Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition has found alleged election violations related to all electoral participants, especially the presidential and vice presidential candidate tickets.

The methods used in the violations were diverse, ranging from partiality by village officials, a lack of neutrality by election organisers, money politics and the misuse of state facilities, to vote manipulation.

The Civil Society Coalition Rejecting Fraudulent Elections is comprised of a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Themis Indonesia and the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

Election monitoring was carried out between February 14 and 19 in 10 provinces. In general, there were two election monitors for each region.

They found that at least 104 cases of alleged fraud occurred during the 2024 elections. Out of this total, there were 31 cases of fraud in the presidential election (Pilpres), 34 cases of fraud in the legislative election (Pileg), 10 cases of fraud related to both elections, and 29 other cases of fraud of a general nature.

At a press conference explaining the Coalition's findings in Jakarta on Thursday February 22, Themis Indonesia legal affairs researcher Hemi Lavour said that there were indications that all of the election participants cheated and benefited from this in terms of votes.

For example, as much as 81 percent of the findings on alleged election fraud related to the presidential elections were directed towards ticket number 2, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Meanwhile, some 15 percent of the alleged fraud in the presidential election was directed to support of candidate pair number 3, former Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo and former security minister Mahfud MD.

In the case of candidate pair number 1, former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar, there were no findings of fraud.

Nevertheless, there were indications of fraud by the political parties supporting Baswedan and Iskandar – the National Democrats (NasDem) and the PKB.

And it was not just the NasDem and the PKB, other political parties supporting presidential candidates such as the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the United Development Party (PPP), the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), the Golkar Party, the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) were also suspected of cheating.

Diverse methods

The methods used to commit the violations were quite diverse, including through partiality by village officials and state administrators, money politics, the misuse of state facilities and vote manipulation.

"The alleged fraud was generally related to the neutrality of officials. As many as 34 percent of the findings of fraud were related to the neutrality of village heads", explained Lavour.

Aside from perpetrators, indications of fraud also occurred during the monitoring of polling stations (TPS). There were inconsistencies in the requirements for people to use their voting rights, as was the case at TPS 09 Parang in Makassar city, South Sulawesi, TPS 16 Dalung in Serang, Banten, and TPS 12 Penkase Oeleta in Alak, East Nusa Tenggara. This had an impact on voters who had to return home and did not use their voting rights.

There were also electoral officers who prohibited residents and observers from photographing C1 vote tally forms, polling stations that do not provide voter attendance lists and voters who voted more than once.

This situation, continued Lavour, was exacerbated by the results of the scanning C1 forms into the Sirekap – a digital-based application used by the General Election Commission (KPU) to document the results of vote tallies at each TPS – which were not in accordance with C1 forms in the field.

At TPS 01 Glumpang Tutong in Meureudu, Pidie Jaya, Aceh, for example, it was alleged that the C1 forms at the TPS were different from the C1 in Sirekap system. The votes for one of the candidate pairs were actually switched or bubbled over to the other candidates.

"The initial tabulation (at the TPS) and the Sirekap were different. There was a C1 document that was Tipexed which changed the vote distribution. This is damaging a C1 form and a criminal offence because it does not meet the requirements for recapitulation", he explained.

Upstream problems

According to Andalas University constitutional law expert Feri Amsari, the elections were problematic starting from the upstream process. Therefore, the downstream process such as on voting day was of course also problematic.

The phenomenon of alleged cheating, he continued, is considered to have fulfilled the elements of structured, systematic and massive (TSM) fraud.

Structured because it involves a scenario by state administrators who systematically formed a channel for the alleged fraud. The potential for this to have occurred massively has also been revealed in findings by the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) at polling stations.

"This alleged fraud also occurred evenly, from the [western] tip of Aceh to Papua. This already describes the situation, all that's left is to convert this into the number of votes (where there were indications of cheating)", he added.

Nevertheless, Amsari admitted that hopes of proving this will be left up to the wisdom of the judges when election disputes are heard by the Constitutional Court. Proving election fraud and the process can only be done by Bawaslu, while the Constitutional Court only focuses on resolving disputes over election results.

Aside from this, only election participants can be involved in hearings on election disputes at the Constitutional Court, so civil society cannot participate. The public can only participate if summoned as a witness by the constitutional justices.

"The Civil Society Coalition is not a participant so it cannot take part in the dispute hearings later at the Constitutional Court. However, we will report the findings of fraud to Bawaslu to be followed up on immediately", said Amsari.

On the other hand, referring to Kompas' records, the legal team of the candidate pairs number 1 and 3 have began to compile material for a judicial review on the election fraud. Meanwhile the legal team of candidate pair number 2 is now trying to anticipate any potential lawsuits challenging the presidential election results.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Semua Pasangan Calon Terindikasi Melakukan Kecurangan".]