REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Former Chief Justice of Constitutional Court (MK) Mahfud MD said election manipulation also occurred nowadays. However, the form of electoral fraud is different from the New Order era's.
Mahfud made the statement based on his experiences in leading the Constitutional Court as the institution that adjudicates disputes over election results and regional elections. According to him, vote rigging remained one of the considerations to decide cases of dispute over election results.
"Is there no manipulation now? There are a lot of frauds," Mahfud said during a presentation in a discussion at the MMD Initiative, Kramat, in Central Jakarta, on Thursday (Feb 14).
Mahfud said that verdicts of the Constitutional Court showed electoral frauds exist. However, he explained manipulation occured horizontally, among political parties.
According to Mahfud, during the New Order era, election manipulation occured vertically as it was done by the government. In the period before the reform, the election results had been determined, said Mahfud.
"Now the parties are cheating on their own. They financed it and have their own teams," he said.
Election manipulation affected the General Election Commission (KPU) in the regions. They are tempted to cooperate in manipulating the election, Mahfud said.
"There were KPU or Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Board) in regions tempted to be bribed, but it happened only in five out of hundreds of thousands polling stations," he said.
He said that this condition was seen in the cases of disputes over the election results in the Constitutional Court. Therefore, it is not right if the public generalizes that all election organizers usually cheat.