LANSKAP: Stamp Requirement is Unnecessary

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Hadar Nafis Gumay (KPU) and Agung Wasono (Lanskap Indonesia)

Jakarta. The General Election Commission, or KPU, is considering to use a revenue stamp as a requirement for every letter of support gathered for independent candidates in a move to strengthen legal verification of candidacy in next year’s regional elections.

The plan was included in the KPU regulation revision draft on regional elections which is still being deliberated by the House of Representatives, KPU commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay said.

Revenue stamps, also known as materai, are a paid stamp issued by authorities to legalize documents. The stamps allow signed letters to be considered legal documents in court.

Every letter of support for candidates will be required to have a stamp and the KPU will be able to file lawsuits against candidates or individuals found to be counterfeiting stamps.

“The stamps must be affixed in every [letter of] individual support to independent candidate and the stamps could be affixed [collectively] at a village level,” Hadar said during public deliberations in Jakarta on Monday (19/04) night.

The regulation draft also says that if independent candidates fail to secure the necessary stamp support, the KPU can extend the time frame, Hadar said.

The requirement will increase costs for independent candidates. The Jakarta candidacy, which needs around 535,000 individuals pledge their support, candidates pairs must provide Rp 1.5 billion to Rp 3 billion ($115,000 to $230,000) to purchase the stamps.

Agung Wasono, executive director of the Institute for Economics Politics and Public Policy Analysis (Lanskap), said the stamp requirement is unnecessary as the method can’t guarantee it won’t be corrupted, adding that it would be inefficient and ineffective for democracy.

“Rather than mulling the stamp idea, KPU must think to strengthen and prepare valid methods for administrative and factual verifications by polling committees (PPK and PPS). There should be sanctions for false supports,” Agung told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.

He also suggested KPU cooperate with the Population and Civil Registration Offices to provide the electronic ID cards (e-KTP) data in helping the verification processes.

At least 101 regions will hold the second round of simultaneous regional elections on Feb. 15, 2017, including the prestigious Jakarta gubernatorial election.

Source: The Jakarta Globe 

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