The extension of the term of office of the election organizers is considered the most appropriate so that the Election Commission can adjust the election cycle simultaneously. Tiered recruitment can also be a solution to deal with the vacancies of the organizers’ seats
The General Election Commission (KPU) of the Republic of Indonesia proposes that the term of office of regional electoral administration be extended until all stages of the 2024 General Election (Pemilu) and Regional Head Election (Pilkada) is completed. According to a commissioner of the Indonesian Election Commission, Arief Budiman, this extension is important in order to minimize mistakes in the crucial stages of the general election and local elections which are planned to start on February 28, 2024. If not, then the stage will be disrupted by the process of changing commissioners in various regions.
The Commission must replace at least a total of 2750 organizers at the provincial and district/city. This change is estimated to break the concentration and increase the burden of elections. “Throughout the stages of the (national and local elections) the Commission should carry out recruitment with a scattering of schedule,” Arief said when interviewed Jaring.id, Friday, August 20, 2021.
The General Election Commission (KPU) of the Republic of Indonesia proposes that the term of office of regional election organizers be extended until all stages of the 2024 General Election (Pemilu) and Regional Head Election (Pilkada) is completed. According to a commissioner of the Indonesian Election Commission, Arief Budiman, this extension is important in order to minimize mistakes in the crucial stages of the national election and local elections which are planned to start on February 28, 2024. If not, this stage will be disrupted by the process of changing district commissioners in various regions.
The commission must replace at least a total of 2750 organizers at the provincial and district/city. This change is estimated will lead to break concentration and increase the burden of organizing elections. “Throughout the stages of the (both national and local elections) the Commission should carry out recruitment with a scattering of schedule,” Arief said when interviewed Jaring.id, Friday, August 20, 2021.
A member of the Banten Regional Election Commission, Mashudi, assessed that cutting the term of office of the organizers to 2022 was very detrimental to him. Even if it had to be done, the government had to provide compensation for commissioners whose terms were shortened. The compensation calculation system also needs to be regulated in detail based on how long the position has been cut. “It will losses the organizers and requires a big budget because there are people who end up in 2024,” said Mashudi.
In Banten, the working period of the Provincial Election Commission will end in May 2023 and the Regency/City commission of Banten will be completed in June 2023. This change is expected to occur at the stages of nominating legislative members and preparing the regional election budget. The most ideal option, according to him, is to extend the term of office of the organizers until the election stage is over. By doing so, the organizers only need to continue the work that has been done previously.
Term of the Commission does not need five years
The end of the Election Commission’s term of office is not simultaneously one of the challenges that will be faced in the 2024 Election. Another challenge is the availability of logistics; nomination; voting; counting and updating of votes. In addition, there is also the fatigue factor of the polling officers. Experience in the 2019 election shows that the workload of organizers with five ballots simultaneously triggers fatigue and causes many victims. The Commission data as of May 20, 2019 states, as many as 5,669 election officers became victims of the burden of holding the 2019 simultaneous elections. Of that number, 5,097 people were sick and 572 people died.
The Election Commission warned that the events in 2019 would not be repeated in 2024. Moreover, the 2024 election can be said to be more difficult because the organizers hold legislative, presidential elections and hold regional head elections simultaneously in the same year. So that all preparations are thorough and the recruitment process for new organizers is not disrupted, the Election Commission wants the tenure of thousands of election organizers in various regions to be extended.
The researcher of Jakarta-based Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (Netgrit) Hadar Nafis Gumay assessed that the option of extending the term of office needed to be carried out so that the term of office of the organizers was in line with the upcoming simultaneous election cycle. “It should be addressed, do not allow the circulation or the cycle of change to be out of sync with the election cycle. The post-2024 elections can be held so that they will be formed long before the next election,” he said.
After the term was extended, Hadar said that the election Commission could at least form an organizer two years before the 2029 simultaneous elections. In fact, he considered that with the unification of all elections in one year, the term of office for the next organizers did not need to be made for five years. “There’s no need to hurry,” Hadar said.
Meanwhile, if the Commission cut the entire work period organizers only until 2022, Hadar doubts the government’s commitment to pay compensation for cutting past the post. The reason is that until now the government has not paid the post-service money for the 2012-2017 election organizers. The money should be paid after the term of service ends. “Don’t add more, what was the past still unclear,” said Hadar.
International IDEA’s Program Manager for the Asia Pacific Region, Adhy Aman agrees with Hadar. According to him, the simultaneous election schedule should make it easier for Indonesia to regulate the recruitment mechanism and the work of organizers. The lawmakers only need to follow the election cycle by establishing an organizer at least two years before the election begins. That way the organizers have enough time to study the regulations to the technical matters of voting. “It should be possible to find a cycle of change in which the moment of election activity is not hectic,” Adhy said when interviewed on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
In order to deal with a vacancy, Adhy suggested that Indonesia should apply the model change of the organizers in stages. For example, out of seven Elections Commission members, a maximum of two people can be replaced at the same time, so that experienced members are always available to continue the stages.
Several countries in Southeast Asia that implement a tiered shift are India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. India and Malaysia to replace the providers based on the retirement age. With reference to age, the organizers will rarely be replaced at once. Meanwhile, the Philippines is changing the organizers in stages. The terms of service of the seven members serving in the Philippine Central Election Commissions will end in different years. “The advantage is that if it is tiered, then there is a guarantee of continuity and after the change, it will not start from zero. There is always someone who continues and can transfer knowledge,” he said.
However, according to the Director of Domestic Politics of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Syarmadani, the extension of the term of office of election organizers requires prerequisites or criteria. Operators who have been subjected to ethical sanctions should not receive an extension of their term of office. “It is impossible for us to extend the troubled people,” he said during the National Webinar on Election Organizer Selection in the Context of Elections and Democracy on Thursday, August 19, 2020.