Safeguard Democracy through Peaceful and Dignified Presidential Elections


    This joint statement by 19 Indonesian civil society organisations on the 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election is the outcome of the Indonesia National Workshop on Human Rights and Elections, organised by FORUM-ASIA, together with the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), and Imparsial, in Jakarta on 25-26 June 2014.

    In connection with the Indonesian 2014 general election, we, the representatives from Indonesian civil society groups concerned with elections, human rights, and freedom of expression, and journalists, having discussed and assessed issues regarding the previous 2014 legislative elections on human rights enforcement as well as the media independence in covering the forthcoming presidential election campaign. Based on our experiences during the 2014 election process, we would like to express our concern and make the following appeals:

    First, that all stakeholders of the 2014 presidential election should show political responsibility for the process so that the results of the Presidential Election 2014 are intelligently and rationally reflect the people’s choice and held in accordance with the standards of free and fair democratic elections. Therefore, both organizers and law enforcement officials must take concrete steps and firm action against any breaches and irregularities in the implementation of the 2014 presidential election, such as: smear campaigns, hate speech, money politics, manipulation, human rights abuses, intimidation, violence , environmental destruction, and political discrimination. In addition, strict action must address the organizers and security officials who are not neutral and professional, as well as those who practice fictitious voters, and the like.

    Secondly, the election organizer and law enforcement officials must be active and responsive to anticipate situations of potential conflict between the supporters of both camps during the campaign period. This situation is a result of the political fragmentation as more members of society have emotionally identified themselves with each faction of presidential candidates. The role of the clergy/religious leaders and governments in each district/city is therefore very important to conduct a peaceful election.

    Third, the Indonesian Election Commission (KPU) should immediately conduct a careful evaluation of whether procurement and distribution of logistics to conduct the presidential election are correct in term of its number and quality, and are delivered timely to the right locations. Regarding the procurement and distribution of ballot papers, in particular, the KPU must ensure not to repeat instances of wrong deliveries of ballots, as well as the massive numbers of ballots that have been pre-marked for legislative elections. Indonesian Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) should immediately respond to any indications of the wrong ballot delivery that can cause errors balloting numbers in local polling stations.

    Fourth, we call for the neutrality of public and security officials. Indications of non-neutral bureaucrats as well as a number of security personnel have been seen in various areas, where many regional heads and deputies, as well as the members of village non-commissioned officer (Babinsa) openly support each candidate camps in several areas. We also worry about the potential politicization and intimidation of civil servants and security actors. The Bawaslu should maximize its role and function to prevent such deviations.

    Fifth, indications of administrative error or political fraud in the vote count will certainly increase the potential vulnerability into turmoil protest. Bawaslu must oversee and supervise the delivery of ballot boxes from the polling station level up to the national level.

    Sixth, we urge the public and civil society organizations to play an active role in monitoring and guarding the course of the election process by reporting all forms of fraud, intimidation, violence, and other anomalies.

    Seventh, the press, as one of the pillars of democracy and in order to function properly, it must contribute to a dignified democratic process. For that reason, the press must carry out their duties in a professional manner and with full responsibility for maintaining freedom of the press.

    Eighth, the press must always maintain its independence and professionalism, including in the 2014 Presidential Election. The press should not be used as a propaganda tool for personal or group interests to favor certain candidates. In short, the press should not be tendentious and unbalanced.

    Ninth, we reject all forms of intervention on the press by anyone, including the owners, media leaders, or rulers.

    Tenth, we strongly criticize a number of the owners of certain broadcast media, especially television, who utilize the media as a tool to blindly support certain presidential and vice presidential candidates.

    Eleventh, we urge the press and media that in carrying out their duties to prioritise to accuracy, quality, and validity of information conveyed, rather the speed of news delivery to the public

    Twelfth, we call for volunteers, sympathizers, or the campaign teams of the president and vice president candidates using social media to convey information more wisely and ethically, as well as not to engage in smear campaigns, hoax stories or hate speech.

    Thirteenth, we urge the KPU to ensure that all stages of the presidential election take place in open areas, accessible particularly to voters with disabilities; minority voters from local religious groups and indigenous communities customary law; LGBT voters; and elderly voters. Every stage of the electoral process must reduce or even eliminate legal, information, physical, and mental Barriers for vulnerable and minority voters. In addition, we insist Bawaslu to closely monitor the elections and ensure that the rights of the above minority groups are not violated, and if there is a violation, then the Bawaslu must establish strict punishment to any violators.

    Fourteenth, the value of human rights is a fundamental right of every citizen that must be protected absolutely. To that end, we urge all parties concerned with the presidential election to ensure the continuity of the current democracy by promoting politics that are polite, friendly environment, and uphold the values of human rights.

    Fifteenth, encouraging the KPU, the police and the Human Rights Commission immediately undertake preventive measures over various possible acts of violence or social conflict that may lead to human rights abuses after the presidential election, as well as follow up on the findings of violations committed during the last legislative election.

    Sixteenth, we urge all parties not to forget the resolution of cases of human rights violations in the past, which have become to be part of the democratic struggle since the fall of the authoritarian New Order regime. Various human rights violations in the past should be a lesson and the basis of political considerations for the democratic development and future of Indonesia.

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    Organisation/s Involved

    Komite Bersama Peduli Pemilu:

    • Perludem (Society for Elections and Democracy)
    • KIPP (Independent Election Monitoring Committee)
    • Indepth
    • JPPR (People’s Voter Education Network)
    • IJTI (Indonesian Television Journalists Association)
    • AJI Papua
    • Imparsial
    • KontraS
    • KPI (Indonesian Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy)
    • ICT Watch Workshop
    • APPeK (Advocacy Empowerment and Development Village) – Kupang
    • SIGAB (Sasana Integration and Disability Advocacy) – Yogyakarta
    • WG 30 – Samarinda
    • Institute Mosintuwu – Poso
    • Institute Aceh – Banda Aceh
    • HRWG (Human Rights Working Groups)
    • Arus Pelangi
    • EQUIVALENTS Institute
    • The Wahid Institute

    How to Support The Campaign

    For further information, please contact:

    • Rev. Triyogo (IJTI ) 0811804598
    • Erwin Maulana (Imparsial) 081 291 422 663