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Indonesian election commission chairman dismissed following sexual misconduct ruling

The Indonesian Election Organizer Honorary Council (DKPP) dismissed Hasyim Asy’ari, Chairman of the General Election Commission (KPU), following allegations of sexual harassment. DKPP has called on President Joko Widodo to enforce the ruling within seven days and urged the General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to oversee its implementation.



Indonesia election commission chairman dismissed following sexual misconduct ruling
(Photo: Instagram/KPU RI)

INDONESIA: The Indonesian Election Organizer Honorary Council (DKPP) has imposed the sanction of dismissal on Hasyim Asy’ari, Chairman of the General Election Commission (KPU), following a complaint from a member of the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The decision, stemming from accusations of sexual harassment, marks a significant development in maintaining ethical standards within Indonesia’s electoral system.

DKPP’s ruling was announced during a Wednesday (3 July) session, where Chairman Heddy Lugito declared Hasyim Asy’ari guilty of violating the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct for Election Organizers.

“Granting the complainant’s complaint in its entirety,” Heddy stated, confirming the decision for permanent dismissal.

As a result, Hasyim was permanently dismissed from his position as Chairman and member of the KPU.

He further called President Joko Widodo to enforce the ruling within seven days and urged the General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to oversee its implementation.

The incident that led to these charges occurred on 3 October 2023, during a technical guidance session in The Hague.

According to the DKPP, Hasyim coerced the victim, known by the pseudonym CAT into sexual relations after summoning her to his hotel room. Despite CAT’s initial refusals, Hasyim persisted.

This complaint was officially lodged on 18 April 2024, with legal representation from the Legal Aid Consultation Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia (LKBH-FHUI), and Legal Aid (LBH) APIK.

Aristo Pangaribuan, LKBH-FHUI chairman, stated that Hasyim’s actions, which included approaching, seducing, and committing immoral acts, occurred between September 2023 and March 2024.

These meetings occurred during Hasyim’s official visits to Europe and the victim’s visits to Indonesia.

In response to the accusations, Hasyim Asy’ari had previously denied any immoral conduct during the initial session of the DKPP on 22 May 2024.

Despite his denials, the DKPP’s investigation concluded that he was guilty, leading to his dismissal.

Victim expresses gratitude and encourages others to seek justice following DKPP’s decision

The victim expressed gratitude for the DKPP’s decision.

“I give my highest appreciation to the DKPP for having the courage to make the fairest decision possible in my case,” she said at the DKPP office in Jakarta on Wednesday (3 July).

CAT also extended her gratitude to her friend Aristo and colleagues at the LKBH-FHUI, who supported her throughout the trial.

“And I also want to inspire all victims, whatever the case, to be brave, especially women, to submit or fight for justice,” she added.

The DKPP’s decision to dismiss the Chairman of the KPU, Hasyim Asy’ari, due to immoral acts is seen as a significant step forward.

Neni Nur Hayati, Director of the Indonesian Democracy and Electoral Empowerment Partnership (DEEP), commended the DKPP’s firm and progressive action.

“This is a firm and progressive step taken by the DKPP to maintain the integrity of the election, especially as it relates to immoral acts which are very detrimental to the victim and injure the election organizing institution,” Neni told Kompas on Wednesday (3 July).

Neni emphasized that the ongoing advocacy efforts by civil society groups in this case are not driven by personal animosity.

“Indeed, we are concerned about the image and reputation of election organizers as well as taking sides with victims,” she said.

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