Vote buying threatens to undermine year-end elections: KPK

first_img“But still, we believe that vote buying in the upcoming elections will only produce more corrupt regional leaders in the future,” he said.The simultaneous elections on Dec. 9 will elect 270 regional leaders comprising nine governors, 37 mayors and 224 regents. The regions holding elections include Surabaya and 18 other cities and regencies in East Java, one of the provinces hit hardest by COVID-19, as well as 21 cities and regencies in Central Java, another province affected by the pandemic.Read also: KPU presses on with December elections despite turnout concernsBawaslu commissioner Fritz Edward Siregar said incumbents running for reelection were more likely to partake in vote buying given their access to social assistance funds – which are provided by the government but distributed by regional administrations. He said the misuse of funds was punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment under the 1999 Corruption Law and the 2007 Disaster Mitigation Law.Fritz said incumbents might also benefit from the coronavirus crisis response as they could use it as an opportunity to boost their popularity among voters.There have been some cases of COVID-19 aid being used for political purposes. In Central Java, for instance, Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani – who is seeking a second term in office – recently faced criticism for putting her image on bottles of hand sanitizer that were handed out in aid packages under the sponsorship of the Social Affairs Ministry. Sri has denied that it was her choice to put stickers of her likeness on the bottles.“As of the end of May, we have recorded 23 cases in which regional leaders have allegedly politicized social aid. It is a corruptive behavior that damages democracy,” Fritz said, adding that Bawaslu had reprimanded many of these regional leaders.Read also: COVID-19 aid stalled, used for political stuntsA survey released by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) on June 15 show that Indonesians are growing more permissive toward vote buying. It found that 32.74 percent of 1,200 respondents said they would tolerate people accepting money or gifts from candidates competing in legislative or regional elections, an increase from the 20.89 percent of respondents surveyed last year.International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) senior program manager for Asia and the Pacific, Adhy Aman, said forming a community watch at the grassroots level to regularly report alleged vote buying to Bawaslu could help curb the practice.Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said the government was working with the KPK to build a strategy that tackles the issue.“We need to find ways to prevent corruption from tainting the regional elections,” he said.The Home Ministry’s acting director general for regional administration development, Safrizal, said the ministry would have public order agencies (Satpol PP) in 270 regions look out for serangan fajar (dawn attack), a form of vote buying that happens directly prior to voting. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) have warned about potential vote buying in the upcoming simultaneous regional elections, which the government insists on holding on Dec. 9 despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.The two agencies are worried that candidates may woo voters, especially those who are suffering from financial hardship as a result of the epidemic, by offering money or daily supplies.KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron said these voters would be susceptible to accepting gifts offered by candidates. “[COVID-19 hardships] might trigger the public to vote for candidates who give them cash and basic necessities,” Nurul said in a recent virtual public discussion. “Such a transactional approach is illegal because candidates will exploit those who are enduring economic difficulties so that they can become regional leaders.”Read also: Regional leaders, candidates in spotlight for corruptionNurul also warned that vote buying might lead to corrupt practices if the candidates who win attempt to offset their extra campaign spending through illicit deals.The KPK, he said, had arrested dozens of regional leaders for allegedly abusing their power for personal gain, even though it recorded a downward trend of such cases in the past two years. In 2019, the KPK arrested nine regional leaders for corruption, a sharp decline compared to 29 regional leaders in 2018.center_img Topics :last_img read more

MY DONEGAL……WITH BUSINESSWOMAN FRANCES SPEARS

first_imgFrances Spears is one of Donegal’s best-known small business owners. Her business, Mourne Antiques in Letterkenny, is continuing to operate despite tough economic times. Here she takes a break from running her busy shop to tell us all she loves about Donegal.What is your favourite place in Donegal and why? Ards Forest Park. It’s incredibly beautiful and peaceful.If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?The weather this summer! Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?My father, Arthur Spears. Although not a native of Donegal he has taken it to his heart and has a great interest in its history, people and archaeology. He always puts a positive spin on things.Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?Packie Bonner. An old hero of mine.What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?The great beating of Down in the Ulster Championship.What was Donegal’s saddest moment? The recent closures of so many family-run and long-established businesses has been a terrible blow to the county.What is your favourite Donegal-made product?Donegal Pens, made by the young McGarvey brothers. They are nicely made, get the Donegal name out there, and are so easy to post as gifts.Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? Daniel O’Donnell – he sends a glow of warmth wherever he goes.Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?Anyone running a small business and keeping it going at the moment.Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Shay Given, he is a great inspiration to the youth. And of course he’s from Lifford like myself!What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?La Fantasia, LetterkennyDonegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?Golden EaglesYour nomination for Donegal’s most stylish person?Brid Dillon, of Dillons Supermarket.What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?‘Come here’, used before any sentence – e.g. Come here, I’m away home; Come here, I’ll see you later; etc.Will Donegal win the All Ireland this year?AbsolutelyWhat is your favourite Donegal food?It used to be Oatfield Chocolate Orange sweets (it always gave me a lift to find them in strange parts of the world), but Filligans Raspberry Jam is just delicious.Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?The driving!If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be?It would be great to have Letterkenny invest in a major tourist attraction for the town, possibly something that could link the old and new town with easy accessibility to both. And I would definitely move the Tourist Office back into the town centre. (Think I need more money!)MY DONEGAL……WITH BUSINESSWOMAN FRANCES SPEARS was last modified: August 1st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Frances SpearsMourne AntiquesMY DONEGALlast_img read more