Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Aceh Institute held the first multi stakeholders meeting (MSM) that discussed about evaluation of Pilkada Aceh 2017. This meeting was held in a form of focus group discussion (FGD) that would be held for six times within two months. This first FGD brought up a theme about “Law foundation, audit of permanent voters list (DPT), candidate registration, and campaign”. This FGD also took place in Hermes Hotel Banda Aceh and invited 20 participants, 2 speakers and, 1 facilitator.
The meeting was started with a foreword from the Director of Aceh Institute, Fajran Zain. Then it continued with a preliminary presentation from the first speaker, Aryos Nivada, from Intiative Survey Network (JSI). In his presentation, Aryos said that before he was about to criticize Pilkada Aceh 2017, he would first give the appreciation to the organizer of Pilkada, KIP, who has been neutral during the process of Pilkada. Hence, according to his research and observation, there were 20 irregularities that happened during Pilkada Aceh 2017. One of those irregularities was the recruitment of KIP commissioners. In his opinion, this recruitment was not transparent enough. The recruitment process that was done by legislative must have contained certain political interests. The judicial review that was done by legislative also made it not independent. Aryos also mentioned that some of these commissioners contributed in Pilkada violations. Therefore, a better KIP commissioner recruitment system is definitely needed in the future.
The discussion then continued with the second speaker, Zainal Abidin, from academics. In his presentation, he mentioned irregularities about law and regulation during Pilkada Aceh 2017. There was inconsistency in using law and regulation, for example when dealing with the problem about candidate registration, KIP sometimes used UUPA while other time, they used PKPU as a foundation of law. KIP also made decisions that were contrary with UUPA. KIP needed to be reminded that the foundation of law for Pilkada Aceh is Qanun. Meanwhile, a lot of contents in Qanun are contrary with the national law and regulation. In conclusion, Zainal mentioned that there are a lot of confusions and multi-interpretations in Qanun or PKPU that impacted Pilkada process.
The last session was Q&A with all the participants. A participant mentioned about the reading Quran test for all the mayors/head-district candidates. He questioned why reading Quran test always been done in the districts not in Banda Aceh like the health screening test. This thing has created a problem in Aceh Tenggara. Another participant criticized the campaign content about women participation in Pilkada. There has no law and regulation that strictly managed campaign content. She fears that if we let this situation happen, there won’t be any women participate in politics in the future. A participant from media also response to this issue, he said that historically, Aceh has ever been led by 5 women (sulthanah) 500 years ago. So, when we say it is forbidden (haram) to have a woman leader, does this mean that our civilization has moved backward to 5 centuries ago? In addition, he provided another example from Pakistan when Benazir Bhutto was inaugurated; they referred to Aceh as an example where women has successfully led a region but now we prohibited Acehnese women to participate in politics. In conclusion, there have been many irregularities happened during Pilkada Aceh 2017. One participant mentioned his evaluation about this year Pilkada was better than the last one, yet if from the organizer’s side, it was worse than the last one.