Interim Report of the ANFREL International Expert Election Observation Mission (IEEOM) to the 2024 Indonesia General Elections

Download the interim report here: "Interim Report of the ANFREL International Expert Election Observation Mission (IEEOM) to the 2024 Indonesia General Elections" EN | ID

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) congratulates the people of Indonesia for their unwavering commitment to democracy, demonstrated through their active participation in the electoral process, which is truly commendable. Nevertheless, there remain concerns regarding the quality of various aspects of the overall electoral processes.

As election observers engaged with a spectrum of electoral stakeholders during the course of their deployment, ANFREL deems that it would be of a disservice to the electoral stakeholders who continued to push back if we ignore concerns and fears regarding instances in the whole election period that showed signs of declining democratic norms and values such as encompassing challenges in the legal framework, issues surrounding the independence of the Komisi Pemilihan Umum Republik Indonesia (KPU), the mobilization and misuse of state resources to sway voter preferences, and the responsiveness of the Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum Republik Indonesia (Bawaslu) in addressing complaints and violations of election laws. These factors have contributed to concerns that a lack of established systems and processes exists for ensuring accountability, transparency, inclusiveness and public confidence in the electoral process and election results.

In the issues surrounding the legal framework, ANFREL extends its respect to the decision of the members of the Constitutional Court. However, ANFREL also views the decision as a legal uncertainty, which causes a lot of interpretation as to the age requirement. Notably, the Constitution has never specified an age limit for presidential and vice-presidential candidates. ANFREL recommends the inclusion of age qualifications in the Constitution to ensure stability and consistency in the eligibility criteria for political office. This would establish a clear and enduring standard, preventing frequent changes or amendments to electoral laws based on evolving opinions.

ANFREL also believes that the current legal framework lacks the necessary provisions to effectively address instances of the misuse of state resources in elections.  ANFREL urges Parliament to tackle this issue through legislation. The legal framework should strengthen initiatives to monitor and publicize findings related to abuses.

Moreover, the independence of KPU has been questioned on multiple occasions due to actions perceived as biased and incompetent by both political parties and civil society organizations. The KPU should enhance transparency and inclusivity in its regulatory decision-making process, making regular consultations with relevant stakeholders a standard practice. Additionally, BAWASLU should take proactive measures to keep stakeholders informed about the resolutions of complaints.

Notwithstanding the challenges, ANFREL also recognizes the extensive work that the KPU has done, most especially the polling staff and security personnel who largely managed and facilitated the peaceful and orderly conduct of the Election Day. Polling staff braved the challenges of a complex voting process even in instances of delays observed during the opening of some polling stations, extending beyond the scheduled opening time. Despite adverse weather conditions in certain areas, the polling staff remained committed, and voters displayed patience waiting for their turn to vote. The management of polling stations and queues was effective, contributing to an orderly voting process.

Moreover, the participation of various voter categories, including those listed under the additional voters' list and special voters, is commendable. This practice fosters inclusivity in elections, a vital aspect in guaranteeing a fair, representative, and accessible electoral process for all members of society.

During the campaign period, the electoral atmosphere was dynamic and competitive, allowing candidates and political parties to engage in campaigning through various activities across traditional and social media platforms. Despite the presence of legal measures to promote a fair campaign environment, there was a prevailing concern that the influence of money in politics played a role in influencing voters. The absence of stringent penalties for campaign violations created a susceptibility to unethical and illegal practices during the election. Additionally, the absence of a comprehensive legal framework for thorough social media monitoring led to the persistence of hoaxes and various forms of disinformation and a lack of specific programs from the KPU to combat misinformation and disinformation. It is important to highlight that the focus should not be on content regulation but should extend to implementing transparency mechanisms.

With unwavering dedication and proactive initiatives, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) established resilient networks and alliances, engaged in strategic communication, and employed grassroots mobilization. Despite these efforts, ANFREL has collectively noted the substantial challenges faced by CSOs in influencing decision-makers, policymakers, and election authorities.

Although quick counts have identified election winners, ANFREL urges electoral stakeholders to maintain vigilance and guarantee that subsequent processes determining the final and official election outcome are robust and genuinely reflect the voice of the people.

Download the interim report here: "Interim Report of the ANFREL International Expert Election Observation Mission (IEEOM) to the 2024 Indonesia General Elections" EN | ID

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