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Postelection Statement on Indonesia Elections, June 9, 1999

Jakarta...The following statement on Indonesia's legislative elections of June 7, 1999, is offered by the international election observation delegation organized jointly by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and The Carter Center. The 100-member delegation was led by former United States President Jimmy Carter. Members of the delegation observed in 26 of Indonesia's 27 provinces.

As of today, preliminary election results have not been announced, and election complaints that have been filed, or that may be lodged, remain to be resolved. This statement therefore is preliminary. NDI and The Carter Center are continuing to monitor post-election developments and have consulted with domestic election monitors and international organizations prior to preparing this statement. Additional statements may be released as the situation develops further, and a more comprehensive report on the election process will be issued at a later date.

The June 7 polls are just the first step in a series of electoral exercises that will culminate in the indirect election of a new president of Indonesia later this year by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). The Carter Center and NDI will monitor developments until a new president is chosen. This effort will be conducted in continuing cooperation both with Indonesian nonpartisan election monitoring groups and with other international organizations. Further statements on the process and the overall political environment will be released periodically, and a final report will be issued after the new president is elected.

On June 7, Indonesia held its first competitive elections since 1955. In a truly impressive display of enthusiasm for and commitment to democracy, a very high percentage of Indonesia's more than 112 million eligible voters came to the polls. The elections for the national legislature and provincial and district assemblies were largely peaceful and free of violence. In most places, the polls were adequately organized, even in the face of serious time constraints. Thus far, the elections appear to represent an important movement toward establishing democracy in Indonesia and an expression of the will of the Indonesian people for democratic change.

The delegation recognizes that these elections will not be completed until votes are tabulated, seats are allocated to parties and candidates are assigned to seats. Moreover, before the MPR meets to elect the new president later this year, its provincial representatives must be elected and its "functional group" representatives selected, both through processes that have not yet been fully determined. Therefore a judgment about the entire election process must await the completion of all of these steps.

As of this morning, only a very small number of polling results had been announced, even though substantial unofficial returns were expected by this time. Continuing delays could give rise to confusion and tensions among the contestants and the public. The delegation hopes that in the days ahead the tabulation of official results for the June 7th elections will be completed properly and complaints that may be lodged will be resolved fairly and effectively. The delegation trusts that political parties and their supporters will then begin to address the next challenging steps in the transition.

More than three million Indonesians worked diligently and for very long hours as polling officials, political party agents and domestic nonpartisan election monitors. The delegation was impressed that so many of these people were young, which is an important indication of hope for the future. Women turned out in large numbers to vote, but unfortunately they were not represented sufficiently on electoral bodies.

At virtually every one of the polling stations observed by the delegation, scores of citizens watched the voting and counting processes with enthusiasm and in a spirit of cooperation. The magnitude of this electoral effort by so much of the population provides encouragement that Indonesia will continue its transition to become the world's third largest democracy. This effort was all the more impressive given the short timeframe for organizing the elections and given the extraordinary size and diversity of Indonesia. At the same time, the delegation noted a number of problems in the election process.

The June 7 elections were conducted under a new legal framework that, while very complicated and still imperfect, was vastly improved from past electoral legislation. Political parties were allowed to organize and received legal recognition. Forty-eight of them qualified for the ballot. The parties accepted the legal framework as a basis for electoral competition. The vigorous election campaign, while marred by a small number of violent and occasionally deadly incidents, was largely peaceful. The news media covered the elections unfettered by government interference. The evident press freedom provided a tangible example of democratic reform and engendered public enthusiasm for the elections.

Political parties are represented on electoral bodies at all levels, and their agents extensively monitored the process at polling stations. Copies of the tally sheets from the vote counts were given to party agents at most precincts, and polling data were posted publicly and provided to nonpartisan observers. The law allowed, and the Election Commission (KPU) accredited, domestic nonpartisan election monitors. An estimated 300,000 Indonesians, mobilized by numerous efforts, observed at the polls as nonpartisan election monitors, and a parallel vote tabulation (PVT) is being conducted by one of these groups, to verify independently the accuracy of the tabulation of official results.

This effort will provide a basis in the days ahead for the political contestants and the public to gauge the accuracy of the election results. This will help to resolve questions that may appear as a consequence of Indonesia's complicated election system or problems that may develop as final results are consolidated.

The delegation noted claims that money was used inappropriately to affect the political process ("money politics"). Although it is difficult to substantiate these allegations, even a perception of such problems serves to undermine public confidence. Although the delegation does not possess the resources to assess fully allegations of this type, it noted the finding of the national Election Oversight Committee (Panwas) of evidence of misuse of Social Safety Net funds for campaign activities. Communal and ethnic violence and clashes among rival political groups cast a shadow over the political environment in some areas of the country in the period leading up to the elections.

In some provinces, notably East Timor, Aceh and Irian Jaya, pressing political issues not only influenced the conduct of the elections but also reach beyond them. The role of the military continues to be problematic in these provinces, which experienced a number of clashes between Indonesian troops and the civilian population in the months leading up to the elections.

Considerable shortcomings were evident in the transparency of the election administration. Neither the total number of registered voters nor the total number of polling stations was clear even on election day. Public announcements of 250,000 and later 320,000 polling stations both appeared to be inaccurate. Such lack of basic information creates confusion that could have been avoided.

Other problems existed with election administration, particularly in the training of poll workers and the distribution of election materials. Ballot papers, hologram stickers and indelible ink were short in quantity or missing entirely in a limited number of polling stations, and polling was sometimes delayed as a result. These problems also extended to the distribution of forms for reporting vote tabulations as they go up through the election administration, which will cause delays in the tabulation and release of results by the KPU. In addition, some voter lists were extremely difficult for election officials to use.

The shortcomings do not at this time appear to have affected substantially the processes on polling day itself. The delegation urges Indonesians to remain patient and urges domestic monitors and party agents to continue to scrutinize all stages of the process. The Carter Center and NDI will continue to monitor developments and issue subsequent reports. Findings and recommendations of the delegation are set forth below.

The Carter Center/NDI's international election observer delegation visited Indonesia from June 3 through June 9 and was welcomed by the Indonesian government, political parties and candidates, civic organizations and voters. The delegation included 100 observers from 23 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Delegates included political party leaders, elected officials and those who formerly held elected office, election and human rights experts, legal scholars, regional specialists and civic leaders.

The delegation was led by Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States, who was joined by Kim Keun Tae, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea and Vice President of the National Congress for New Politics, the governing party of the Republic of Korea, and Tokyo Sexwale, former Premier of Gauteng Province of South Africa and a member of the African National Congress (ANC). The members of the delegation have participated in many international election observer missions around the world.

The purposes of the delegation were to: demonstrate the international community's interest in and support for Indonesia's democratic transition; learn from the people of Indonesia about the nature of the evolving election and political processes and their implications for the future democratic development of Indonesia; and provide an impartial and accurate report of its findings to the international community.

The delegation conducted its assessment on the basis of accepted international standards for election observation and in accordance with Indonesian law. NDI and The Carter Center do not seek to supervise the elections or to certify them. The Carter Center and NDI also do not seek to interfere with the election process, nor do they at this point intend to render a conclusive assessment of the process. Ultimately, it will be the people of Indonesia who determine the meaning and validity of the June 7 elections and the processes that surround them.

NDI and The Carter Center have observed pre-election developments closely. The Carter Center and NDI have maintained close coordination and cooperation throughout the election period with other international monitoring organizations, including among others the European Union, the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL). NDI and The Carter Center have maintained communication with other international organizations that are assisting the electoral process, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), The Asia Foundation and the Australian Electoral Commission. In addition, NDI has worked with the UNDP to operate a facilitation center for other international observer groups. The delegation appreciated the support and funding provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which made this observation mission possible.

NDI began working in Indonesia in early 1996, supporting the efforts of the country's first independent election monitoring organization and, since that time, has worked with a wide range of political parties and civic groups engaged in election monitoring and democracy-building activities. NDI also is undertaking programs across the political spectrum to encourage and inform dialogue between military officers and civil society leaders and to facilitate public input into the developing framework for Indonesia's political transition.

The Carter Center joined the election observation effort with a pre-election assessment mission in February 1999, followed by a visit by President Carter in April. Subsequently, The Carter Center and NDI placed joint field directors in Indonesia for the election observation mission.

NDI and The Carter Center have conducted separately more than 60 international election observer delegations around the world, including 10 joint NDI/Carter Center delegations. Each organization has established a reputation for independence, impartiality, and professionalism in conducting electoral assessments. This delegation's mandate included examination of three parts of Indonesia's election and related political processes: (1) the pre-election period, including the legal framework for the elections, the election campaign and related developments, (2) the election-day voting and counting processes, and (3) the tabulation of results to date, immediate post-election complaints and related political developments.

The immediate post-election period often is at least as sensitive and as important to the legitimacy and the outcome of elections as both the pre-election period and election day processes. The delegation therefore stresses the need for continued monitoring of the post-election political developments and encourages both Indonesians and others in the international community to take up this important work.

The delegation met in Jakarta with: presidential candidates; political party leaders; members of the national electoral bodies, including the KPU, PPI and Panwas; the head of Indonesia's police force; representatives of the Indonesian media; civic leaders; leaders of Indonesian domestic election monitoring efforts, including Rectors' Forum, the Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP) and the University Network for Free and Fair Elections (UNFREL); and representatives of international election monitoring organizations and others from the international community who are concerned with the elections.

On June 5, the delegation deployed 42 teams across the country to 26 of Indonesia's 27 provinces. Teams met with local election monitors, representatives of political parties, and local government and electoral officials in these regions. The teams then observed the voting process in more than 400 polling stations, watched the vote count in selected locations and monitored activities in selected village, sub-district and district election committees before reconvening in Jakarta to prepare this statement.

Recognizing the August vote that will address the future status of East Timor, The Carter Center and NDI did not observe the June 7th elections there.

It is necessary to examine the political environment and context in which any election takes place. NDI and The Carter Center analyzed the pre-election period, including the legal framework, administrative preparations and the political environment leading to the elections.

The delegation also recognized that political issues beyond the present elections are central to addressing matters of public concern in Aceh and Irian Jaya. In Aceh, the newly elected authorities will need to find ways to end violence and credibly address the loss of confidence in government and security authorities evident in significant areas of the province. This has arisen from a failure to address serious allegations of human rights violations over a number of years. Similar long-term problems exist in Irian Jaya, where authorities must find ways to address the political aspirations of the Papuan community.

While the Habibie administration has taken welcome steps to release some political prisoners over the last year, the delegation is concerned that other political prisoners, including leaders of one of the political parties contesting the elections, remain in jail.

Legal Framework. The legal framework set up following the resignation of former President Soeharto provides that the June 7 elections will determine 462 of the 500 seats in the People's Representative Assembly (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR). The remaining 38 seats are reserved for unelected representatives of the armed forces and police, who were not permitted to vote on June 7. Members of provincial and district (regency and municipality, kabupaten and kotamadya) assemblies were also chosen on June 7.

The 500 members of the DPR will be joined by 135 representatives of the provincial assemblies and 65 representatives of "functional groups" (constituencies based on professional, occupational, religious, ethnic and gender identification) to form the 700-member People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR). The procedures for selecting provincial and functional group members of the MPR are yet to be settled. The MPR will meet before the end of the year to choose Indonesia's next president; the meeting is currently scheduled for October.

The June 7 elections are therefore a first step in the election of a new president. Many people have expressed their concerns that "money politics" will play a significant role in the achievement of a majority coalition in the MPR. Concerns were also expressed to the delegation that elements of the current system could combine to unfairly benefit the ruling party in the presidential election process. These elements include the provision for military representation in the DPR, the potential political effect of the disproportionate number of provincial representatives to the MPR from outlying areas of the country, and the uncertainty over the selection of the functional group representatives in the MPR.

The elections for provincial and district assemblies have been overshadowed by the national election but are significant in their own right. The potential exists for decentralization of powers to legitimate and more responsive democratic governments at provincial and local levels, although party eligibility requirements have precluded the participation of locally based parties. The completion of the June 7th electoral process will be important for establishing public confidence in these bodies.

The framework for electing the 462 members of the DPR is a complicated system in which the proportional allocation of seats to parties is combined with an element of linking elected members to specific districts. On June 7, there were separate elections for DPR members in each of Indonesia's provinces. Parties put up provincial lists, ranking candidates in order and, except for Jakarta and East Timor, assigning them to specific districts. Once votes are counted, parties are awarded full seats in proportion to the number of votes they received.

These seats are filled by candidates on the parties' lists, from the districts where the relevant party received the greatest number or percentage of votes. Remaining seats are determined by awarding them to parties with the greatest remaining number of votes after the full seats are determined. This is complicated further because parties were entitled to enter agreements ("stembus accords") to combine their remaining votes in order to obtain the greatest remainder and thus one or more additional seats. Such seats are to be divided between or among parties according to their agreements. A number of anomalies could develop under this system.

The complexity of this system could cause confusion and frustration among parties and the electorate as official results are finalized. The clear establishment of transparency and accuracy in the consolidation of results will be an important basis if parties are to adjust high pre-election expectations to the electoral outcome, particularly if later results from outlying parts of the country differ from early results. In addition, the determination of a party's list of elected members will pose a challenge to its internal transparency and democracy.

Election Administration. The legal framework established the KPU (Komisi Pemilihan Umum) as a multiparty, national election commission. While the KPU undertook an enormous volume of work immediately following its establishment in March, it was unfortunate that many of its political party members stood for election and spent significant time campaigning.

The KPU is responsible under the law for overall policy issues, while implementation of the election preparations is the responsibility of the PPI (Panitia Pemilihan Indonesia or Indonesian Election Committee), a body with limited resources. The KPU and PPI are supported by the Secretariat, which had administered past elections and took on the task of the actual organization of the June 7 poll. The relationships in practice among the KPU, PPI and the Secretariat did not always function smoothly. Conflicting and incomplete regulations were sometimes put in place. It was often difficult to establish what decision had been taken on important practical questions, leading to confusion and a lack of transparency.

The decision to create a new electoral register was a positive step in principle to building confidence. In practice, the late arrival of registration materials and the limited training for registration officials led to repeated extensions of the registration period. In turn, the compressed timetable resulted in the production of registers that were unwieldy and difficult to use. This left a considerable number of polling stations to abandon prior checking of the voter lists before an elector was allowed to vote, thus ignoring an important safeguard. Future registration exercises should be better planned, with sufficient time to create reliable, accurate and easily usable voter lists.

Neither the total number of registered voters nor the total number of polling stations was clear even on election day. Public announcements of 250,000 and later 320,000 polling stations both appeared to be inaccurate. Systems did not exist for the gathering of accurate basic information.

Panwas (election oversight committees) were established at the national and subordinate levels under the election law and a Supreme Court decree. Their precise powers are unclear; however, they are able to resolve electoral disputes through mediation efforts and to review unresolved complaints, including giving warnings and referring cases to the police for prosecution. The degree of effective action by the Panwas across the country was uneven. They did review a number of alleged electoral abuses, including charges related to "money politics" and use of government facilities and funds for campaigning. Panwas members, political party representatives and domestic election observers reported to the delegation that the Panwas needed strengthening, by increasing their independence, their ability to investigate electoral violations and to provide effective remedies.

"Money politics." The delegation noted claims that money was used inappropriately to affect the political process ("money politics"). Although it is difficult to substantiate these allegations, even a perception of such problems serves to undermine public confidence. Although the delegation does not possess the resources to assess fully allegations of this type, it noted the finding of the national Election Oversight Committee (Panwas) of evidence of misuse of Social Safety Net funds for campaign activities, and the decision of the World Bank to delay disbursement of an approved loan of $1.1 billion until after the elections have taken place, because of fears of government misuse of such funds.

In addition, the delegation urges the KPU to continue its already demonstrated commitment to opposing "money politics" by insisting on the post-election audit of political party accounts required under the election law.

Campaigning. Despite often-expressed fears of widespread election-related violence, the campaign was relatively peaceful. There were instances of violence in some provinces. In certain localities, such as Jepara in Central Java, deaths resulted from an inter-party clash. East Timor and parts of Aceh and Irian Jaya, for differing reasons, each experienced violence and incidents of intimidation that affected the pre-election environment and the election itself. Throughout the rest of the country political parties organized vigorous and spirited campaigns.

Campaigning largely relied on motorcades and rallies that were designed to demonstrate the strength of a party's support base, rather than concentrating on reaching prospective voters with messages concerning public policy issues. The news media operated without government restrictions on political coverage. The media's robust coverage of parties, candidates and electoral developments helped to engender public enthusiasm for the elections.

Domestic Nonpartisan Election Monitors. One of the most encouraging and striking developments in Indonesia has been the mobilization of huge numbers of people to monitor the electoral process by civic organizations. Numerous nongovernmental organizations, university based networks and other civil society groups have carried out monitoring efforts at all stages of the election process. Their activities, noted below, contributed greatly to ensuring the integrity of the voting and counting of ballots. These groups also monitored the pre-election period and issued public reports.

Election day was largely peaceful. Indonesians turned out to vote in great numbers, and the participation of women voters in many areas was impressive. Voters seemed to understand the voting process, and the delegation noted few invalid ballots during the counting phase.

The delegation noted that more than three million Indonesians worked diligently and for long hours to organize a transparent election process. It was, however, unfortunate that not more women were chosen as members of the electoral bodies. In addition to the people who worked as polling officials, political party agents and domestic election monitors, scores of citizens gathered at the polling places observed by the delegation and watched the voting and counting processes with a great deal of enthusiasm and in a spirit of cooperation.

Police and security forces operated properly for the most part. Election day served as a good example of how the police force, which was recently separated from the armed services, could serve its role in the community.

Each of these factors combined in most of the areas observed by the delegation to reinforce what many Indonesians refer to as a "festival of democracy."

Not withstanding these positive elements, there were election-day problems. They ranged from relatively minor administrative lapses to more serious and irregular practices. There were numerous fears expressed before polling day of so-called "dawn attacks," where persons were expected to approach prospective voters in intimidating ways and offer money to ensure their vote for particular parties. No substantiation was offered to delegation teams on election day, although often party agents said that such events may only have occurred in more remote areas where observers would not be present. The perception that this type of "money politics" could affect the election is noteworthy.

Election Administration. Most of the polling stations visited by the delegation were adequately organized and run by officials who seemed dedicated to acting properly. Lack of training often made this difficult in practice. Vote counts observed by the delegation were conducted carefully and transparently, although procedures often were not followed in detail. All vote counts observed by the delegation were scrutinized by party agents, domestic monitors and members of the public. Citizens often cheered as ballots were opened and the vote on each was announced.

In some areas the voting process was organized according to regulations and operated smoothly. In others there were notable shortcomings. Problems observed included:

  • Late delivery of election materials, and in some places inadequate materials, which caused delays and even postponements of polling in some areas. Late delivery of forms needed for reporting results of vote counts up the chain of election administration, along with postponements of some balloting could slow the tabulation and announcement of results.
  • Lack of sufficient training of election officials at the polling stations caused delays and a very slow process in a number of places. This also seemed to be the reason for inconsistent implementation of the law and regulations.
  • Polling station officials often failed to count and record the number of ballots received before opening the polling station.
  • Officials rarely checked the fingers of prospective voters for traces of indelible ink before issuing ballots to them. In addition, in numerous cases indelible ink was not properly applied or seemed to be of poor quality, which could have allowed it to be removed on election day.
  • Some polling officials failed to use and mark the voter lists. Sometimes all voters' names were placed on the supplemental list; other times the lists were ignored, and the certificate of registration presented by voters was the only safeguard checked. The documentation requirements for voters not on the register were not consistently applied.
  • In many polling stations, a significant number of ballots were signed with hologram stickers attached, and then piled up -- in violation of election regulations -- before they were issued to voters. The ballots were in view of party agents and observers, but this could have created an opportunity for ballots to be used illegally.

Many of these problems point to inadequate training of polling officials. In cases where voters' fingers were not checked for traces of indelible ink, where ink was not applied and where voter lists were not checked, an opportunity was created for multiple voting. The certificate of registration, presence of party agents and local witnesses did provide a basis for identifying such illegal voting, but important safeguards were ignored in these circumstances.

The late arrival of materials, including forms for reporting the vote count, caused confusion and delays and will probably retard the tabulation of official results. This could cause tension in the days following the election.

In addition to these problems, the delegation noted a number of apparently isolated irregularities and electoral violations. In Irian Jaya, for example, one team noted organized under-aged voting. A group of approximately 20 students, age 13-15 and unmarried, were registered to vote and brought by their teacher to vote. A team in West Java witnessed a person just outside the polling area with a number of unused ballots in his hand. Upon seeing the observers, the man handed the ballots to an election official, claiming that they were to be given to a neighboring polling station that was short on ballots.

While the participation of Panwas was uneven on election day, a number of positive examples were noted by the delegation. In Jakarta, the provincial Panwas intervened at a polling station where the chairman had written the names of voters on their ballots. They replaced the entire team of officials at the polling station with volunteers from among the voters and supervised the station throughout the process. They invalidated the corrupted ballots and provided extended voting hours and an opportunity for the approximately 60 affected voters to vote again.

Party Agents and Domestic Monitors. Political party agents actively scrutinized the voting and counting processes at most polling stations. This provided an important safeguard for the elections. In more remote areas, it was more likely that few competing parties were able to dispatch their agents to the polls. The delegation hopes that competing parties will be able to organize throughout the entire country in the future. Party agents seemed to work independently and cooperatively in most places observed by the delegation, and in many instances they were joined by nonpartisan domestic election monitors.

Hundreds of thousands of domestic monitors were deployed by Rectors' Forum, the University Network for Free and Fair Elections (UNFREL), the Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP) and the Network for People's Voter Education (JPPR) and other national, provincial and local organizations. In addition, the delegation was struck by the scores of citizens who remained at the polling stations throughout the voting and counting. Many of these people were quite young, and the interest and excitement of many of this generation are particularly encouraging. This public interest in ensuring the integrity of the election process is a hopeful sign for the future.

The delegation was struck by the enthusiasm for democracy demonstrated by millions of Indonesians on election day and throughout the election process. Many Indonesians, from the top offices of government and election administration to voters, party agents and nonpartisan election monitors, have shown a clear commitment to ensuring a successful democratic transition. It is in this context and in the spirit of international cooperation that the delegation offers the following recommendations.

1) Earliest Possible Announcement of Preliminary and Official Results. A long period of uncertainty over results leads inevitably to loss of confidence in the election process. The process for determining and gathering official results should be expedited to offset the likely delays in consolidation of results caused by delays in delivery of election materials and lack of training of election officials. It must, however, be remembered that, particularly since a separate election is being conducted in each of the 27 provinces, very early and fragmentary returns may be seriously misleading.

2) Investigation of and Action on Electoral Complaints. Electoral complaints, if any are lodged, must be investigated in order to safeguard the electoral process and to build public confidence in the integrity of the vote. Appropriate administrative actions should be pursued concerning election complaints and effective remedies provided, including revoting where appropriate. Cases of electoral manipulation that may come to light should be prosecuted in accordance with the law and international standards for due process of law.

3) Transparency of Party Funding. The KPU should further its demonstrated commitment to opposing "money politics" by insisting on the post-election audit of political party accounts required under the election law. Political parties should cooperate fully in this process to build public confidence and show respect for the law.

4) Open Political Process in the Presidential Election. The rules for election of the provincial members of the MPR should be fair, inclusive and transparent. The KPU should designate the functional groups to select MPR members as soon as possible in order to provide certainty to the process. The success of any coalition building will depend in significant part on effective communication and explanation between party leaders and their supporters and voters. Transparency and fairness in the process will be essential for establishing public confidence in the authority of the new president and for the work of the government.

5) Election Law. The election legislation and regulations should be reviewed, revised and simplified. The procedures should further emphasize practicality and transparency. The KPU should be a fully independent body, whose members are not involved in any political campaigns.

6) Election Administration. The effective working of the election administration requires simpler and more effective working relationships between the KPU and its implementation bodies, and the roles of the PPI and the Secretariat should be reviewed. Communication between the KPU and the lower-level election authorities needs significant improvement. The registration process should be better designed and implemented to produce easily usable voter lists. The complexity of polling and counting procedures could be reduced without removing essential safeguards. Procedures and information flows should enable basic electoral information to be readily available, and timetables should allow for timely delivery of essential materials.

7) Panwas. The role of Panwas as mediating and dispute solving bodies has much scope for development and is potentially very valuable. In order to realize this potential, the powers and hierarchy of Panwas should be fully defined. The independence of Panwas should be matched by funding that comes directly from the DPR. This funding should enable proper investigations to be undertaken. In addition, a mechanism for enforcement of decisions should be introduced

The delegation hopes that these recommendations will be useful to the many dedicated people working to implement a successful democratic transition in Indonesia. NDI and The Carter Center will offer additional recommendations in a more detailed report, which will be issued at a later date.

The delegation would like to express its sincere appreciation to governmental leaders, electoral officials, political party leaders, members of the media, civic leaders, including those from domestic nonpartisan election monitoring organizations, and representatives of the international community with whom it met. Had these individuals not taken time at this important moment to meet, provide information and share their views, the task of the delegation would have been much more difficult.

Indonesia stands at an important juncture. The June 7 elections mark a critical step in the democratic transition process. Much has been achieved thus far to bring the transition process to this point. These elections are nonetheless just the first step in the election of a new president, the formation of a new government and the establishment of fully democratic institutions and processes in Indonesia. The "festival of democracy" surrounding the June 7th poll must now be followed by actions on the part of Indonesia's political and civic leaders to build lasting confidence in the establishment of an open, democratic and effective political process.

The Carter Center and NDI will continue to monitor immediate post-election developments and the presidential election process. Both institutions will continue to offer assistance to Indonesian governmental, political and civic leaders who are striving to ensure a successful transition to democracy.

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