Poll violation investigations hindered by regulatory gap: Bawaslu

Human Rights

Investigations into election violations conducted by the General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) are being impeded by the absence of a regulation delineating the authority to probe such violations, according to Bawaslu Commissioner Ratna Dewi Pettalolo.

“Bawaslu is currently facing some hindrances in our investigation of electoral violations. The first issue is the lack of a regulation that delineates institutions authorized (with the task of) the investigation of crimes committed in the context of elections. For instance, an investigation report concluded by the Bawaslu may differ from (the one submitted by) the Police and the Attorney General’s Office,” she said.

The commissioner made the remarks during the Global Network on Electoral Justice’s (GNEJ’s) ‘Asia Regional Discussion on Trends and Challenges of Electoral Justice,’ which was accessed on Bawaslu RI’s YouTube channel from here on Friday.

The current national legal system still involves multiple institutions in investigating suspected violations or crimes during elections, such as the police, the Attorney General’s Office, and courts, Pettalolo expounded.

Thus, investigations conducted under the current system might end with each investigating institution reaching different conclusions that bring further uncertainty to addressing violations of electoral regulations reported by residents, she noted.

Besides the regulatory issue, the commissioner also pointed out that according to Law no. 7 of 2017 on Elections, Bawaslu is authorized to investigate suspected violations in election conduct only for 14 working days, a period she considered too short.

“To respond to reports of suspected violations, investigations conducted for the case are limited to only 14 working days, and if the investigation exceeds the time limit, the case will be considered null and cannot be followed up,” Pettalongi explained.

Another challenge that Bawaslu officials face during investigations is that residents are inclined to be reticent and do not welcome investigators, thereby hindering Bawaslu from promptly concluding investigations, she said.

Source: Antara News