Jakarta. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said Indonesia must evaluate the effectiveness of its system of democracy and that law enforcers will work with antigraft commissioners to inhibit the emergence of money politics in the upcoming regional elections.
"There has been no research on the effectiveness of our current system of democracy, especially when it comes to regional elections," Tito said at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on Friday (29/12).
He said the high level of poverty in Indonesia makes many citizens susceptible to manipulations and vote buying.
In June, voters in 17 provinces will elect their governors, district chiefs and mayors.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) has recorded 196,545,626 voters so far, including 7 million people who will turn 17 (the voting age) in 2018.
Tito noted that regional elections in the current system are high-cost affairs, with district head candidates spending between $2.2 million and $3.6 million for campaigning.
Since elected officials do not make this much during their term, corruption becomes a likely choice to break even.
"We've made a system that forces district heads to engage in corruption … which is why we need to look into the effectiveness of direct elections in districts and municipalities," Tito said.
To deter money politics in the upcoming regional elections, the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have agreed to create a special task force.
"Money politics has a negative impact on our democratic process," Tito said.
Next week, Tito is going to invite the National Police's Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) to lead a team of "idealistic and committed" law enforcers from both the police and KPK.
The team will be deployed in districts prone to money politics, and is going to start monitoring them in January.
"Our friends at KPK cannot handle this alone, because there are limits to their jurisdiction," Tito said.
By joining forces the two institutions want to prevent corruption in the electoral process.
"We want to stop the tendency ... so that members of the public and the candidates will refrain from fraud and the regional elections will commence without money politics," Tito said.