Thu, 22 May 2003

KPU elects members of Jakarta KPUD

Arya Abhiseka The Jakarta Post Jakarta

The General Elections Commission (KPU) has failed to be accountable in the selection of members of the provincial General Elections Commissions (KPUD), according to an analyst.

The KPU announced on Wednesday 150 members of all 30 provincial KPUDs, including the Jakarta KPUD, after the commission conducted a suitability test on 300 candidates nationwide, which ended last week.

However, Smita Notosusanto from the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro) said that the KPU had failed to be transparent during the process to select people for the KPUD jobs nationwide.

She said the KPU's decision to hold the selection process, without allowing public monitoring, should be questioned.

"What exactly are the qualifications for candidates to be selected as members of the KPUDs? The KPU never explained this to us," she queried.

The KPU had earlier revealed that members of the KPUDs were chosen based on their general and technical knowledge of the general election mechanism, but failed to be more specific.

Smita cited an example of the fit and proper test to select members of the KPUDs in several provinces, including Jakarta, where candidates were asked different questions.

"Every question asked was different from one candidate to another. One cannot set a specific measure to determine which candidate is better than the others with different questions," she added.

She also said it was ironic that the KPU had earlier attempted to be transparent by making the names of the candidates for the KPUDs available for public scrutiny, but later decided to hold a closed plenary meeting to select members.

"It was certainly in contradiction with their initial philosophy," she said.

The KPU held closed plenary meetings on Monday and Tuesday to select five members for each of the nation's 30 provincial KPUDs.

Although the meetings were restricted to KPU members, one member revealed that the selection process was conducted through voting.

The KPU plans to install the members of the provincial KPUDs by May 23 and regental KPUDs by June 13.

The KPUDs are the KPU's branches tasked with organizing the upcoming general election at the provincial level. The provincial KPUDs' duty is mainly to establish KPUDs at the regency and municipal level.

The Jakarta KPUD will have to establish KPUDs in the province's five municipalities and one regency, the Kepulauan Seribu or the Thousand Islands, north of Jakarta.

The nation's first ever direct presidential election will be held next year. The legislative election will fall on April 5 and will soon be followed by the presidential election to be held between June and August. ----------------------------------------------------------------

Members of the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) ----------------------------------------------------------------

Names Background 1. A. Riza Patria Indonesian National Youth

Committee (KNPI) 2. Juri Ardianto Independent Election

Monitoring Committee (KIPP) 3. M. Taufik Jakarta Research Center (PPEJ) 4. Muflizar Public figure 5. Hamdan Rasyid Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) ----------------------------------------------------------------- Source: The KPU