Wed, 03 Dec 2003

Six more parties pass screening for 2004 elections

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Six more of the 40 political parties undergoing factual verification have passed the final screening and are thus officially eligible for next year's elections, the National Elections Commission (KPU) announced on Tuesday.

KPU chairman Nazaruddin Syamsuddin said the six parties had met the minimum requirements of having branch offices in at least two-thirds or 21 of the country's 32 provinces and in two-thirds of regencies or municipalities in those provinces.

The six parties were identified as the Democratic Party, The Concern for the Nation Functional Party (PKPB), the Indonesia Justice and Unity Party (PKPI), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Reform Star Party and the Freedom Bull National Party (PNBK).

The announcement brought the number of political parties eligible for next year's election to 12 as six others automatically qualified after receiving the minimum 2 percent of the overall vote in the 1999 election.

They are the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), Golkar, the United Development Party (PPP), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN), and the Crescent Star Party (PBB).

The country's legislative election will be in April 2004 and then there will be a two-stage direct presidential election in July and September respectively.

The KPU decided to announce political parties that had qualified for the 2004 elections in stages after most Provincial Elections Commissions (KPUDs) failed to submit the results of their field verifications by the Nov. 27 deadline.

Nazaruddin said that his commission had just received reports from 26 provincial KPUDs as of Tuesday, five days after the deadline lapsed.

Provinces that have not submitted their verification results were the Riau Islands, Riau, Gorontalo, West Kalimantan, Banten, and East Nusa Tenggara.

"We hope to finish the verification process as soon as possible," said Nazaruddin, who was accompanied by deputy chairman Ramlan Surbakti, KPU members Hamid Awaluddin, Mulyana W. Kusumah, Anas Urbaningrum, Daan Dimara, Valina Singka Subekti, and KPU secretary general Safder Yusacc.

The announcement, covered by over 200 journalists, was tightly guarded by some 200 police personnel from the Police Mobile Brigade and the anti-riot unit as several party leaders were seen roaming outside the KPU building. Some of them had threatened to lead demonstrations if their parties were declared ineligible.

A total of 40 political parties passed the administrative verification by KPU and have been undergoing factual examinations.

According to law No. 12/2003 on general elections, a political party must have branch offices in at least two-thirds of provinces, and in two-thirds of regencies or municipalities in those provinces. Parties must also produce documents showing that they have at least 1,000 members at each district office.

"We need an explanation from KPUDs that have been slow, not just the figures. KPUDs must give us an explanation as to why certain parties were declared ineligible," he said.

Separately, KPU member Anas Urbaningrum said that his team would announce on Dec. 9 the individuals eligible to contest seats in the Regional Representatives Council (DPD).

Anas said that all figures eligible for the DPD must have enough funds for their campaign. Those individuals must give the KPU the pertinent information on their bank accounts no later than Dec. 16, he added.

No. Parties Chairperson

1. Democratic Party Budi Santoso

2. Prosperous Justice Party Hidayat Nur Wahid

3. Concern for the Nation Functional Party R. Hartono

4. Indonesia Justice and Unity Party Edi Sudrajat

5. Reform Star Party Zainuddin MZ

6. Freedom Bull National Party Eros Djarot

7. Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Megawati Soekarnoputri

8. Golkar Party Akbar Tandjung

9. United Development Party Hamzah Haz

10. National Awakening Party Alwi Shihab

11. National Mandate Party Amien Rais

12. Crescent Star Party Yusril Ihza Mahendra