BRIDGE Dispute Resolution in Indonesia

15 September 2014


Dispute Resolution in Indonesia

Indonesia has just completed its presidential elections at the start of July 2014. Indonesia possibly runs one of the largest single-day elections in the world, with 134 million votes cast out of a possible 185 million eligible voters. There are three election management bodies in Indonesia: the General Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, KPU), the Election Oversight Body (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum, Bawaslu), and the Honorary Council of Election Management Bodies (Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilu, DKPP).

Bawaslu, the body responsible for electoral supervision and electoral dispute resolution, is unique in the world. Bawaslu is the institution in charge of overseeing implementation of elections. Provisions in Law 15/2011 establish the Bawaslu and the KPU as equal and separate institutions. The same selection committee selects Bawaslu Commissioners for a five-year term in the same manner as KPU Commissioners. Its regional counterpart, Provincial Bawaslu, is a permanent institution consisting of three Commissioners in each province. At levels below the Provincial Bawaslu, membership is not permanent and consists of the following: three members at the regency/municipal level, three at the sub-district level and one field supervisor at every ward/village level. Electoral disputes are filed with Bawaslu first to be classified and channelled to appropriate institutions (DKPP, police or Constitutional Court). Bawaslu has adjudicatory power to solve disputes between the KPU and candidates.

Ahead of the July Presidential elections, BRIDGE training was organised from 22 to 24 May for BAWASLU participants from Headquarters, Aceh, North Sumatera, Central Java, Maluku, Papua and West Papua. Four civil society activists were also part of the 24 participants attending the 3-day course , which was held at the Gran Melia Hotel in Jakarta. The participants were earmarked to also conduct training in the six regions and as such the 3-day course was structured as a training of facilitators, combining facilitation techniques as well as electoral dispute resolution best practices from around the world and aspects of BAWASLU operational training. Participants were provided with facilitation notes and materials for a two-day training course and they were required to spend time presenting the material in a co-facilitation model.

Due to the uniqueness of BAWASLU as an electoral institution, the training course was structured as study groups, who could give critical input into the course materials. These course materials were crafted as a customisation of the BRIDGE Electoral Conflict Resolution Module. Materials were produced in both English and Bahasa Indonesia and contributed back to the BRIDGE curriculum with a strong emphasis on Bawaslu as an institution, so that interested facilitators can learn more about the institution.

Participants experienced the training as being quite different from their usual experiences as this was one of the first BRIDGE courses to be offered to BAWASLU. The training was embraced with significant enthusiasm and saw workshops being conducted in 6 provinces, as well as Alternative Dispute adopted as an additional component in BAWASLU’s operational training. The former Chairperson of Bawaslu, who was critical in the design of the materials and delivery of the Gran Melia training, supervised the training rollout; accompanied by National Bawaslu staff members. Following the initial training of facilitators and training rollout ahead of the presidential elections, it appears clear that Bawaslu are keen to adopt more BRIDGE training as part of their capacity building efforts to strengthen the institution.

The Gran Melia training was conducted by Rushdi Nackerdien (lead facilitator), Pak Johny Barliyanta (workshop facilitator) and Pak Bambang Widodo (resource person). The workshop was conducted in Bahasa with English translation.

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