“The signing of this cooperation agreement is vital for our monitoring, and this will be our basis for conducting monitoring works,” Bawaslu chairperson Rahmat Bagja said here on Tuesday.
The cooperation agreement seeks to realize Article 93 (f) of Law No. 7 of 2017 on Election, which mandates efforts to ensure the neutrality of state apparatus and military and police officers, he added.
Bagja said that while prioritizing the prevention aspect, the agency will not hesitate to take effective measures against any violations.
The agency has implemented four measures to maintain neutrality, which have included issuing a letter on the prevention of political neutrality violations and reminding state apparatus to ensure they are not registered as members or officials of any political party.
Moreover, the Bawaslu has mapped neutrality violation potentials and measures to prevent them, including drafting an election vulnerability index. It is also cooperating with the KASN to monitor state apparatus neutrality.
According to KASN chairperson Agus Pramusinto, enhancing cooperation is essential to reduce the potential of political neutrality violations on the part of the state apparatus.
“To realize efficient state apparatus’ neutrality monitoring, we need active and solid collaboration with the Bawaslu,” Pramusinto stressed.
According to data from the KASN, in 2020 and 2021, a total of 2,034 political neutrality violations were reported to the agency.
The violations were proved in 78.5 percent of the cases, which involved 1,596 state apparatus, and as many as 1,413 personnel of those involved were sanctioned by their working units.
Pramusinto added that 47.1 percent of the total violation cases occurred before the campaign period, while 52.9 percent occurred during the campaign.
Political neutrality violations are dominated by cases of involvement in political campaigns on social media, organizing events to support a political candidate, and posing in a photograph with a political candidate, with hand gestures indicating political support, the agency head expounded.
“The KASN and Bawaslu are authorized to suppress the violation cases. All efforts taken by KASN and Bawaslu are to realize state apparatus that are neutral, political intervention-free, conflict of interest-free, professional, fair, and provide prime services to the people,” Pramusinto said.