The justice ministry announced Friday that 24 new parties had passed the administrative screening to become legal entities, but would face further verification to be eligible for next year’s national elections.

A total of 58 political parties, including new ones, have to register with the General Elections Commission (KPU) starting Monday for verification.

The KPU is scheduled in May to examine the eligibility of the registered parties for the 2009 legislative polls.

The other 34 parties are already legal entities but must still undergo KPU verification because they failed to secure any seats in the House of Representatives in the 2004 legislative elections.

Sixteen minor and major parties represented in the current House — including the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party founded by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — are exempt from the final screening.

The Justice and Human Rights Ministry said it took about six months to check that the 24 new parties met all the administrative requirements, such as having unique logos and names, to ensure no duplication occurred.

“Only 24 of the 115 registered parties eventually fulfilled all the administrative requirements, including having offices in at least 20 provinces,” Aidir Amin Daud, the ministry’s director of public institutions, told a news conference.

He said 81 parties failed to make it to the next phase of the verification process because they had offices in fewer than 20 provinces or had listed fictitious offices.

“But they can participate in the 2014 elections if they complete all the requirements,” he said.

Most of the 24 newly legalized parties are nationalist-based, including the People Conscience Party led by former armed forces chief Wiranto, a losing presidential candidate in 2004.

At least three of the parties — the Star and Crescent Party, the Democrat Christianity Party and the People Voices Party — are religious-oriented.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Andi Mattalata said his office, in cooperation with the Home Ministry, applied a new system to check the names of officials and addresses in each region, as provided by the parties.

“We only spent Rp 410 million (US$44,565), far less than the ministry’s allocation of Rp 3 billion for the verification process,” he said.

In 2003, he said the ministry spent Rp 32 billion verifying parties.

Andi said the new system also helped officials work more quickly in verifying the parties.

“We were supposed to announce the ministry’s verification results next month, but we were able to finish a month early,” he said. (ewd)