2024 Indonesian General Elections | Beyond Power: Upholding the Rule of Law amid Democratic Adversities

ANFREL releases final report on 2024 Indonesian elections, collaborates with CSOs to issue key recommendations to improve polls

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) released today, 7 June 2024, the final comprehensive report on its international expert election observation mission (IEEOM) to the 2024 Indonesian General Elections.

In a press briefing in Jakarta, ANFREL, together with the Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi (PERLUDEM), Jaringan Pendidikan Pemilih untuk Rakyat (JPPR) and Komite Independen Pemantau Pemilu (KIPP), offered four key recommendations to improve Indonesia’s elections, based on their consolidated election observation and monitoring efforts which include:

1) Review and amend constitutional provisions and laws to address electoral uncertainties stemming from the potential loopholes in the legal system;

2) Strengthen initiatives to monitor and publicize findings related to the misuse and abuse of state resource (ASR) to sway voter preferences through legislation, policy reform and transparency initiatives;

3) Improve transparency and inclusiveness of election management bodies through the conduct consultations with relevant stakeholders and by proactively providing updates on election complaints mechanism and resolution, and

4) Conduct a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the pervasive impact of mis- and disinformation during elections and the unchecked utilization of emerging technologies such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), which promotes access to information.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling which allowed the son of outgoing President Joko Widodo, Gibran Rakabuming Raka to run for vice president despite not meeting the minimum age requirement of 40 years old as specified in the Election Law No. 7/2027, was one of the most contentious issues in the elections.

The group recommended the Parliament to review and amend constitutional provisions and laws to address uncertainties regarding candidate qualifications and put the age qualification in the Constitution to safeguard the requirement, providing stability and consistency in the eligibility criteria for political office. The alleged misuse and abuse of state resources, particularly the allocation and distribution of social assistance (bansos) as a tool to sway voter preferences, was another contentious issue during the elections.

The Parliament should strengthen initiatives to monitor and publicize findings related to ASR through legislation, the group said. The Komisi Pemilihan Umum Republik Indonesia (KPU) and Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum Republik Indonesia (BAWASLU) should also thoroughly investigate issues of ASR, exploring the implementation of policies to address them.

Meanwhile, KPU and BAWASLU have raised skepticism among electoral stakeholders about their independence and competence because of the number of ethical violations and perceived lack of action on critical electoral issues during the elections. ANFREL urged KPU to be more transparent and inclusive in its regulation-making power, making consultation with relevant stakeholders a norm and for BAWASLU to proactively update stakeholders on complaints mechanism and resolution.

The pervasiveness of mis- and disinformation was also noted during the elections. The groups believe that there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to address information disorder which includes promoting media, information and digital literacy, upholding media freedom as well as ethical and professional standards, pushing for accountability and transparency of social media platforms, and nuancing guidelines and further discussions to curb the misuse and abuse of generative AI and other emerging technology that may be used to distort and malign the truth.

The final report of ANFREL’s IEEOM to the 2024 Indonesia General Election also provides a comprehensive analysis of the events that transpired during as well as a number of recommendations to address issues and challenges focusing on the 1) legal framework, 2) electoral processes and political parties, 3) media coverage, independence and influence, 4) human rights, gender, and vulnerable groups, and 5) election corruption.

ANFREL commended the groups and individuals, including voters who participated in the elections, for their commitment to elections and democracy in the country. Despite the challenges, the unwavering and proactive initiatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) established resilient networks and alliances, engaged in strategic communication, and employed grassroots mobilization.

ANFREL deployed three electoral analysts, seven short-term observers in 11 provinces in the country who conducted comprehensive desk research, interviewed a total of 126 election stakeholders, and observed pre-election activities including campaigning and preparations for the elections. With additional four Election Day observers, polling and counting processes were observed in 113 polling stations across 11 provinces.

As Indonesia prepares for its upcoming local elections this November 2024, ANFREL emphasizes the importance of implementing these recommendations at both national and local levels. Strengthening the electoral framework, enhancing the transparency and accountability of election management bodies, and addressing the impact of mis- and disinformation and technology misuse are crucial steps to ensure fair and democratic elections. Local authorities, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders must collaborate closely to create an inclusive and transparent electoral environment that upholds the integrity of the democratic process.

Read and download the full report here: "2024 Indonesian General Elections | Beyond Power: Upholding the Rule of Law amid Democratic Adversities" English | Bahasa IND

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