Toby Mendel

Observer: Public Should be Proactive In Seeking Election Information

Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC), in this Wednesday (3/09/2014) has conducted limited discussion with experts and election observers. Among those, there was Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD). On the occasion Toby asserted, in many countries, election process that transparent has improved the quality of democracy and public participation. In addition, the Indonesian people are expected to be more proactive towards transparency of the election.

The definition of election transparency, according to Toby, is divided into two, namely transparency internally and externally. For internal factors, it is targeting the institutional of election commission especially in the performance. In this case, the Commission shall be open on the various issues related to the electoral process. Such as how much allocated budgets, the remaining funds, etc.

Toby said, in some countries such as India, South Africa, and England has published important data from election commission to the public, in real time. In South Africa the election commission website provides detailed information of their staffs who work along with educational qualifications. In India, the election commission website provides information that attractive and they provide a proactive space so that they can pull out the data that can be justified anytime.

While in England, the commissioner or senior officials will conduct periodic evaluations to each staff. This evaluation will be published periodically in every week. Even in Mexico, the public can perform direct monitoring the implementation of electoral process with live streaming.

“It was difficult at first, but as time goes by will go well,” said Toby.

While for the implementation of elections openness in Indonesia, Toby gave appreciation to the General Election Commission (KPU) in Indonesia. According to him, the process of elections openness in Indonesia has been experiencing good progress. For example, the Commission has issued the C-1 data from each polling station, providing Information and Data Management Officer (PPID) at the Commission’s office, etc. However, there are some things that need to be shared evaluation.

Toby said, there are several reasons why elections openness is important to be applied in Indonesia. First, elections openness can increase the level of public participation. Election Commission that transparent would create the effect of high trust from public. Second, related to the transparency of the fund. How much of elections implementation funds that must be opened to the public. Even Toby said in some countries, the allowance for election commission staff is also published on the website. Third, it is the important information related to the laws and rules of election implementation. This information is essential to ensure the certainty of election implementation goes according to the applicable law.

Fourth, the election results. The election commission shall announce the results certainly.

In the future, Toby hopes, General election Commission can provide better information. Election Commission as a public institution should be able to provide free information to all people with a variety of formats that can be easily accessed.

“In Indonesia, many people have using mobile phone. Election Commission must begin to think of mobile phone data usage,” said the man who has Canadian nationality.

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