Election Commission Says Papua Can’t Do Away with Noken System Abruptly

Noken system on the election in West Papua - bawaslu.go.id
Noken system on the election in West Papua – bawaslu.go.id

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Election Commission (KPU) said the use of noken system in the Regional Head Election could not be done away with abruptly, since several regions still maintained the system.

However, KPU Papua appreciated the statement of those who rejected the use of the noken system in the Regional Head Election (Pilkada) Phase 2 that would be held simultaneously in 11 regencies/municipality, because the Noken system is incompatible with election principles of direct, universal, free and secret.

“We do refer on the Constitutional Court’s decree to provide such attention to gradually eliminating the noken system. So it means we are not being forced to straightly dismiss it,” KPU Papua commissionaire Isak Randi Hikoyabi said in Jayapura on Tuesday (15/3/2016).

If the noken system was applied, said Hikoyabi, KPU Papua must issue technical guidelines as applied in Yahukimo Regency to ensure the implementation of noken system was legal by Law.

“I predict in the next Pilkada, there are about five or six regencies that would use the noken system, including Puncak Jaya, Intan Jaya, Dogiyai and Tolikara,” he said.

In response, he said KPU Papua has conducted an internal meeting with some local governments and political parties to discus about the mechanism being applied in the next Pilkada. The point is the provincial KPU would only become a mentor while the local KPUs would ensure the transparency of the implementation of noken system.

“Whether the noken system would be applied through a mechanism of Bigman, which means the entire constituents being represented by a tribal chief or people would get in a line to give support to a candidate; these two different ways would be regulated later, which one would be suitable to be applied. KPU will form a regulation or technical guidelines to ensure the implementation of noken system would be legal and transparent,” he said.

Earlier, the academic from the Faculty of Social and Political Science of the Cenderawasih University, Eduard Kocu considered the appliance of noken system in general election in Papua actually benefited some political elites. Thus, the regulation is needed to protect the democracy values.

“Its regulation must be designed in a such way to not contradicting with democracy values. The use of noken system in the general election actually is not appropriate because it is against to the principles of direct, universal, liberate and secret,” said Kocu.

However, he said as part of local wisdom, the noken system has enriched the democracy values at the local level. But on the other hand, it is also weakening the meaning of democracy. (Alexander Loen/rom)