Press Release
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Jakarta 12 April 2009


For modern civilized nations, free and clean elections are a mechanism to determine the leaders from time to time. In Indonesia, we have just undertaken national elections for the third time since the collapse of the authoritarian New Order government, which ruled Indonesia for 32 years. The system of multi-party democracy we now have is fitting for our multicultural and plural country.  

Indonesia is considered successful in constructing a multi-party system, including the conduction of democratic elections. Unfortunately, the quality of the elections has declined and during the 2009 parliamentary election, flaws and neglect were evident.  

While there was a high level of enthusiasm among the people during the previous two elections, this was not evident in the 2009 elections. The number of non-voters was very high, perhaps the highest in the history of elections in Indonesia.

To protect democracy, the election and political parties must guarantee a fair and transparent process, not culminating simply in showing who won and who lost. Regrettably, at this time people are oriented towards the reconciling of survey results. This is truly concerning.  

According to many sources and input we acquired, this year’s election was worse compared to the two previous elections. We note two flaws and one weakness in the execution of the April 9 2009 election.

1. The flawed management of technical issues, which resulted in the loss of Constitutional rights for millions of Indonesians. This is connected with the poor compilation of the official voter list (Daftar Pemilih Tetap, or DPT), as well as the confused logistics for ballots, which included cases of switched ballots which were considered official by the Election Commission (KPU).
2. Flawed political decisions. The government has the authority to make a confused electoral process, which violated the principles of democracy and the principles of an honest and fair election, into a fair one. This can be seen in the draft proposal of the Election law where the government proposed that the voter list be created using the Ministry of the Interior’s data. Continued, there is no process to clean up the data by having the Election Commission work with the Ministry of the Interior.
3. The inattentiveness of the parties in the 2009 elections. They did not try to verify the voter list data though it was available for quite a long time before the election.

With the facts above, we consider the 2009 legislative elections to have been seriously flawed. As a result, the democratic process still being created in this country suffered setbacks and the potential of this year’s elections was threatened.

Considering these facts:

1. We call for the citizens of Indonesia who have lost their right to vote in the April  elections to report to the Police or other credible organizations.
2. The country must reinstate the constitutional rights of the citizens who have lost it and give them the right to use their vote.  
3. Consider replacing the Election Commission to save the 2009 elections as well as the 2014 elections.
4. We call for the people to continue to monitor the 2009 election and not to be trapped in the debate over election results.
5. We call on the parties participating in the 2009 elections to prioritize the aspirations of the people instead of exercising their power. 

Ray Rangkuti (LIMA Nasional)
Chalid Muhammad (Institut Hijau Indonesia)
Siti Maemunah (JATAM)
Berry Nahdian Furqon (WALHI)
Edwin Partogi (Kontras)
Asfiawati (LBH Jakarta)
Riza Damanik (KIARA)
Dani Setiawan (KAU)
Indria Fernida (Kontras)
Abdullah (ICW)
Thamrin Amal Tomagola
Boni Hargens
Yudi Latif
Fajdrul Rahman
Effendi Ghazali
Zen Smith
Ezki Suyanto
Adnan Balfas
Bunga Kejora

Media Contacts:
Chalid Muhamamad,
Ray Rangkuti,
Edwin Partogi,
Thamrin Amal Tamagola,