Kompas.id– JAKARTA, KOMPAS — The General Election Commission is deemed to have not fully understood Law Number 14 of 2008 concerning Openness of Public Information. As a public body, KPU should open up more data on prospective legislative member candidates, including the status of prospective caleg former convicts of corruption cases, bearing in mind this information is not an exempt data in the Public Information Disclosure Act or the KIP Law.

”KPU is obliged to provide information to the public because it is the public’s right in the right to know category to have community participation, especially when this concerns candidates for the people’s representatives. To my knowledge, this is not exempt information (as stipulated in the UU KIP),” said Indonesia’s Director of Democracy and Electoral Empowerment Partnership (DEEP), Neni Nur Hayati, Sunday (27/8/2023).

Image 1. Member of the General Election Commission, Idham Holik, explained the data during a press conference on the announcement of the Provisional Candidate List (DCS) for the DPR electoral candidates at the KPU office in Jakarta on Friday (18/8/2023). The KPU has determined 9,925 DCS for DPR electoral candidates whose names and candidate numbers will be announced in the media. In addition, civil society can also provide input for ten days starting from August 19-28 before it is determined to be a Permanent Candidate List (DCT) until November 4, 2023.

Neni’s response was related to the KPU’s reluctance when pressured by civil society, in this case the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), to announce the status of the names of prospective legislative candidates who are convicts of corruption. in the provisional candidate list (DCS). As is well known, the KPU opens space for the public for ten days from August 19 to August 28 to provide input and suggestions regarding the prospective legislative candidates.

Neni assesses that the public response regarding potential legislative candidates featured in the DCS appears to be merely fulfilling KPU’s obligation. This is because the information provided by the KPU regarding potential candidates is very limited – only featuring information about their name, number order, and party logo. Meanwhile, the candidate’s work history, education, residence and other information is difficult to find.

“Simply listing names. There is almost no other information, which makes it difficult for voters to recognize their representative candidates,” said Neni.

According to him, the role of community participation seems unable to run smoothly because the information channel is closed. He continued, “This also then raises a big question mark. The community needs to know, especially those related to the status of former convicts and ex-corruptors.”

According to him, in an era of information openness like today, the people’s right to obtain information related to their candidates should be given. Especially since voters do not have enough time to get to know the many candidates with a short campaign period of around 75 days. This condition is compounded by the lack of information from the KPU.

15 former corruption convicts

Previously, the KPU was pressed to announce the names of prospective legislative candidates who have previously been imprisoned due to corruption cases. The KPU was requested not to conceal such data, as it could make it difficult for voting citizens to obtain representatives who are free from corruption.

ICW has found at least 15 potential legislative candidates at the district/city/provincial levels, the national legislative assembly, and the regional representative council who have a previous record of corruption. They come from five members of the Nasdem Party (Abdullah Puteh, Rahudman Harahap, Abdillah, Budi Antoni Aljufri, and Eep Hidayat), two members of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Al Amin Nasution and Rokhmin Dahuri), one member of the Golkar Party (Nurdin Halid), and one member of the Nation Awakening Party (Susno Duadji). Please note that if any of the forbidden words are present in the original article, they are to be left untranslated.

Meanwhile, former convicted corruption inmates who have become prospective members of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) include Irman Gusman (West Sumatra), Patrice Rio Capella (Bengkulu), Dody Rondonuwu and Emir Moeis (East Kalimantan), Cinde Laras Yulianto (Yogyakarta), and Ismeth Abdullah (Riau Islands).

ICW researcher, Kurnia Ramadhana, revealed that it is not impossible for there to be many names of former corruption convicts who are currently running as candidates for members of the local legislative councils, both at the city, district, and provincial levels.

Eradicating corruption is still wishful thinking

The presence of former convicts of corruption as prospective legislative candidates seems to have made the hope for progressive policies in the future for eradicating corruption become a mere illusion, according to Kurnia. Political parties who endorse these prospective candidates still allow even roll out the red carpet for former convicted corruptors to make their way to the parliament. Note: Do not translate the word “PKS”.

The party also criticized the KPU for refusing to announce the status of the potential candidate to the public. Without this open announcement, the community finds it difficult to participate and provide input and feedback on the DCS maximally.

What’s more, information about the biographies of the prospective election contestants is not even on the KPU website. If later the former corruption convicts pass and are declared on the final list of candidates (DCT), the probability that the public will vote for candidates who are clean and with integrity is getting smaller. In fact, referring to the Kompas Research and Development poll, as much as 90.9 percent of the public disagreed with the presence of former corruption convicts as candidates in the election.

The KPU’s policy this time differs from the situation during the 2019 elections where the KPU actually progressively announced a list of candidate names who had a status as former corruption convicts. “This means that the current step taken by the KPU RI is clearly a step backwards, lacking in anti-corruption commitment and increasingly showing a lack of good faith in upholding the principles of open and accountable election implementation as stated in Article 3 of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning Elections,” said Kurnia.

Meanwhile, KPU RI Chairman Hasyim Asy’ari confirmed that the data is contained in the DPR DCS and DPD DCS for the 2024 Election. The status data as a former convict is monitored in the Candidacy Information System (Silon) members of the DPR/DPRD and DPD who contain a filling menu for prospective candidates with convict status, for example filling out documents in the form of candidate statement requirements, district court certificates, court decisions, and other supporting documents.

The requirements, according to Hasyim, are only applied to potential candidates who have been sentenced by a court decision that has legal force for violating a provision with a penalty of 5 years or more imprisonment.

According to data from the KPU, there are 52 prospective candidates for the DPR who are former convicts. Meanwhile, for prospective members of the DPD, there are at least 16 individuals who have a former convict status.