Witnesses Revealed Social Aid Misuse in South Kalimantan Regional Head Election

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As the attorney, M. Raziv Barokah and Petitioner Denny Indrayana attended the third hearing to support their petition of South Kalimantan Governor Election Results Dispute No. 124/PHP.GUB-XIX/2021 which was held online at the Constitutional Court (MK), Monday (22/02). Photo: PR/Ilham.

JAKARTA, Public Relations– the Constitutional Court (MK) held the third virtual hearing of the 2020 South Kalimantan Governor Election Result Disputes on Monday (22/2/21). Candidate Pair No. 2 Denny Indrayana and Difriadi (Petitioner of case No. 124/PHP.GUB-XIX/2021) presented the Executive Director of Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) Titi Anggraini as an Expert.

"Currently, 62% of countries in the world regularly hold elections which are classified as free, fair and competitive elections. Clean elections are an instrument to ensure government, people's representation, and control over decision-making. Democratic elections will give birth to a legitimate government. A legitimate government will produce an effective and responsive government,” said Titi in the hearing presided by Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Aswanto accompanied by Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo and Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh.

Titi also said that a number of election parameters were considered democratic, as conveyed by expert Ramlan Surbakti. It includes legal certainty, as well as free and fair competition between candidate pairs. The next parameter is community participation which is very prominent. In addition, election administrators in general have carried out their duties independently, professionally, transparently, accountably and served voters.

Involvement of State Civil Apparatus (ASN)

The Petitioner also presented Muhammad Yahya as a witness who explained the misuse of social  aid (bansos) with the involvement of the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) to win Candidate Pair No. 1 Sahbirin Noor and Muhidin (Relevant Party).

"There was misuse of social aid in the form of free rice for the sake of good image of Sahbirin and Muhidin which involved State Civil Servants, especially contract workers at the Center for Supervision and Certification of Food Crops and Horticulture Seeds in South Kalimantan," said Yahya as an employee of the Center for Supervision and Certification of Food Crops and Horticulture Seeds at South Kalimantan.

Yahya admitted that he participated in the packaging of rice social aid from mid-2018 to mid-2020 under the order of the Head of South Kalimantan Center for Supervision and Certification of Food Crops and Horticulture Seeds, continuing the order of South Kalimantan Governor at that time (Relevant Party). The amount of rice with the tagline “Bergerak” and “Paman Birin” (re: “Move” and ‘Uncle Birin”) stickers as well as Sahbirin Noor's photo ranges from 7 up to 14 tons per day. The time to pack the rice was inhuman, it did not recognize day or night. Yahya refused to did so, but was threatened with termination of his work contract as a driver. This confession about Governor’s order was not groundless. On the packing time, Yahya witness the wife of the Head Center was in the middle of video call with the South Kalimantan Governor and explained the rice packing situation.

The next witness, Anang Husni explained that there was money politics in Banjar Regency carried out by Candidate Pair No. 1 and No.3. Their team asked Anang and others to collect ID (KTP) and family cards (KK) as many as possible in Polling Station (TPS) 04 Sungai Lakum Village in order to win Candidate Pair No. 1 who promised a cash reward. Anang as their campaign team distributed 100 million rupiah for 100 potential voters. “I asked them to vote for Candidate Pair No. 1,” said Anang.

Hereinafter, Chandra Adi Susilo as another Petitioner’s witness, confirmed the misuse of social aid and State Civil Aparatus involvement. The distribution of the social aid was spread across 20 sub-districts, discovered through social media, sometimes broadcasted in local televisions. “It includes my wife’s relatives who received 4 kg of rice, also sugar and tea,” explained Chandra.

Chandra, who is a witness in Banjar Regency, also explained that there were irregularities during the vote count recapitulation at the plenary level in Banjar Regency. Among them, there were 160 Petitioners' votes transferred to the Relevant Party and an inequality in the number of Final Voters List (DPT) between governor and regent election elections. The protest was carried out by the team of Candidate Pair No. 2 by did not sign the plenary results, but there was no follow-up from the General Elections Commission (KPU).

Another witness, Mahuri as the Petitioner’s campaign team said the numbers of the vote count recapitulation in all districts of South Kalimantan determined by KPU were all troublesome. The number of ballots received by the District Election Committee (PPK) for the regent election was not the same as governor election, hence the number of valid and invalid ballots was much different. The Petitioner's next witness, Jurkani, explained that there was a statement by the Banjar Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) commissioner regarding the manipulation of votes raised of the Relevant Party by 5,000 votes.

Objections of Respondent’s Witness

South Kalimantan KPU (Respondent) presented a number of witnesses. The first was Murjani who denied the Petitioner's allegation regarding the presence of Polling Stations Working Committee (KPPS) officers who ruined the ballots at 432 TPS in Hulu Sungai Tengah Regency so that many ballots were invalid. The second witness, Noor Yanto, responded to the plenary meeting of vote count recapitulation at the regency level.

"There were no objections from the witnesses of Petitioner and Relevant Party at the plenary meeting of the vote count recap in the district," said Noor Yanto.

Various arguments of the Petitioner regarding violations of the election organizers, for example the dismantled of the ballot box, 8,127 difference in votes between the Petitioner and the winning candidate that violated the election principles as stated in Article 22E Paragraph (1) UUD 1945, namely direct, public, free , confidential, honest and fair (luberjurdil). After KPU traced this, the truth could not be clarified.

Meanwhile, the other witnesses Rahmiyati Wahdah, Irfan Rafi'an, and Abdul Karim Oman, all confirmed that there were no objections from the Petitioner and Relevant Party witnesses at the plenary session of vote count recap in regencies and provinces level as they signed the minutes of the vote count recapitulation results. 

Explanation of Relevant Party Witnesses

Candidate Pair No. 1 Sahbirin Noor and Muhidin (Relevant Party) presented a witness named Syaifullah as Deputy Secretary of Provincial Campaign Team who confirmed that he attended the plenary meeting of vote count recapitulation at the provincial level. He believed that the Petitioner’s witnesses attended alternately.

"There were several special incidents during the plenary meeting of vote count recapitulation at the provincial level. For example, there was a matching of data process that previously went wrong during the plenary session at the district level. So there was nothing substantial,” said Syaifullah.

Then, Hamdiah as the Mandate Witness of Banjar Regency, responded the plenary session of vote count recapitulation at the regency level. According to him, the Petitioner had no objection and no excuse for the plenary recapitulation at the district level. The Petitioner also did not sign the plenary minutes of the recapitulation at the district level.

Muhammad Ihsan as another witness confirmed that 100 percent of voters in most TPS in South Kalimantan Province were won by the Relevant Party. Then there was Abdullah Hair as the Mandate Witness of Barito Kuala Regency who emphasized that there were no allegation of violations during the elections in Barito Kuala as there has never been a call from Bawaslu regarding the alleged violations.


Writer: Nano Tresna Arfana

Editor: Nur R.

Uploader: Nur Budiman

Translator: SO (NL)

Managing Editor: BW

Translation uploaded on February 23, 2021 at 15.19 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian version, the Indonesian version will prevail.