The Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) will have the authority to impose administrative sanctions and disqualify regional head candidates proven guilty of buying votes, the agency’s chairman has said.
Bawaslu head Muhammad said the new authority had been conferred through the revision of the 2015 Regional Elections (Pilkada) Law passed by the House of Representatives on June 2.
"Bawaslu will have an administrative authority [...] We will enhance administrative law enforcement," Muhammad told thejakartapost.com on Monday.
Muhammad explained that in Law No. 8/2015 on Pilkada, it was only stated that the Bawaslu, along with the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), would have the authority to take action against vote buying during regional elections.
In the revised regulation, Muhammad said, criminal cases related to regional elections would be processed by the police and prosecutors. For its part, Bawaslu was given authority to process administrative disputes, for which the maximum sanction it could impose was to disqualify candidates found guilty of wrongdoing.
"Previously, the sanctions we could impose were just to reprimand them and send them warning letters, but in the future, we can disqualify them," Muhammad said.