Campaign Finance Audits Turn Up No Violations by Gubernatorial Hopefuls

By webadmin on 04:35 pm Aug 04, 2012
Category Archive

Ronna Nirmala

After an outcry in early July by a graft watchdog over nondisclosure in preliminary campaign finance reports, audits of the Jakarta gubernatorial candidates’ final figures have given all six pairings a clean bill of health.

“In general, there was no indication of [reporting] violations,” said Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) head Dahliah Umar on Friday when announcing the results of the audits, conducted by six certified public accountants.

Based on the campaign finance reports, incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo and his running mate Nachrowi Ramli commanded the biggest campaign war chest, receiving donations of about Rp 62.6 billion ($6.6 million) and spending around Rp 62.5 billion.

The second-most prolific fund-raisers were Alex Noerdin and Nono Sampono, who received Rp 24.6 billion in donations and spent Rp 24.6 billion.

Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahja Purnama, who will face Fauzi and Nachrowi in a Sept. 20 runoff election, received Rp 16.3 billion and spent Rp 16.1 billion.

Hidayat Nur Wahid and Didik J. Rachbini came in third in terms of fundraising, receiving Rp 19.7 billion and spending Rp 19.6 billion.

Dahliah said that any remaining funds were required to be submitted to the regional treasury.

In their zeal to win votes, some candidates failed to stay in the black.

Independent pairings Faisal Basri-Biem Benyamin and Hendardji Soepandji-Riza Patria, for instance, spent more than the donations they had received for campaign activities.

With donations of Rp 4.1 billion and campaign expenses of Rp 5.1 billion, Faisal-Biem had to take out almost Rp 1 billion from their own pockets to cover the expenses.

Hendardji and Riza reported receiving donations of around Rp 3 billion and spent Rp 3.2 billion, having to spend around Rp 200 million from their own accounts.

Suhartono, the head of the KPUD working team for the election, said the candidates did not have to report how they covered the shortfall.

Last month, Indonesia Corruption Watch reported all six candidates to Jakarta polling officials for allegedly committing campaign violations by not making clear where their funding was coming from.

ICW accused candidates Fauzi, Joko, Hidayat and Alex — all party-backed candidates — of committing the most violations because they had failed to include the identities of their donors in their initial campaign funding reports.

ICW member Apung Widadi said the antigraft watchdog found that some of the donors used different names but the same addresses and taxpayer registration numbers.

Of the six candidates, Apung said Hidayat committed the most violations because he had received many donations of more than Rp 50 million but did not provide information on the identities of those donors.

The four candidates also failed to provide information about the Rp 1 billion to Rp 2 billion worth of goods and services that they received from the political parties backing their bids.

Apung said the ICW was fully aware that only the KPUD had the authority to announce the amount of campaign funds for each candidate, and therefore urged the KPUD to take action.

Widespread allegations of payments for votes and involvement in campaigns have afflicted previous election battles.