Editors-in-chief of several printed media, through case No. 32/PUU-VI/2008, filed a judicial review of Act on General Election for Members of Parliament, City Councils, and Regional Parliaments (Act on General Election) No. 10/2008, Wednesday (19/11), at the Plenary Court Room of the Constitutional Court.

The Petitioners were, among others, Editor-in-chief of Terbit Daily Newspaper Tarman Azzam, Editor-in-chief of Sinar Harapan Daily Newspaper Kristanto Hartadi, Editor-in-chief of Suara Merdeka Daily Newspaper Sasongko Tedjo, Editor-in-chief of Rakyat Merdeka Daily Newspaper Ratna Susilowati, Editor-in-chief of Media Bangsa Badiri Siahaan, Editor-in-chief of Koran Jakarta Daily Newspaper Marthen Selamet Susanto, Editor-in-chief of Warta Kota Daily Newspaper Dedy Pristiwanto, Editor-in-chief of Cek dan Ricek Tabloid Ilham Bintang. They gave a special right to Torozatulo Mendrofa, SH, an Advocate from Legal Aid and Consultation Institution of Central Indonesian Journalists Union.

In their pleading, the Petitioners felt the urgency in articles mentioned in Act on General Election especially the ones regulating about advertising campaigns, for example, Article 93 paragraph (3), Article 93 paragraph (4), Article 94 paragraph (1), Article 94 paragraph (2), Article 94 paragraph (3), Article 95 paragraph (1), Article 95 paragraph (2), Article 5 paragraph (3), Article 95 paragraph (4), Article 96 paragraph (4), Article 96 paragraph (5), Article 96 paragraph (6), Article 96 paragraph (7), Article 97, Article 98 paragraph (1), Article 98 paragraph (2), Article 98 paragraph (3), Article 98 paragraph (4), Article 99 paragraph (1), Article 99 paragraph (2).

According to the Petitioners, those articles violated Article 27 paragraph (1), Article 28D paragraph (1), Article 28F, Article 28H paragraph (2), Article 28I paragraph (2), Article 28J paragraph (1) and (2) of the 1945 Constitution and also violated Article 1 point 1, 2, 8; Article 2, Article 3 paragraph (1), Article 3 paragraph (2), Article 4 paragraph (1), Article 4 paragraph (2), Article 4 paragraph (3), Article 5 paragraph (1), Article 6 letter a, Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 9 paragraph (2), Article 13, Article 15 paragraph (1), Article 15 paragraph (2), Article 17 paragraph (1), Article 17 paragraph (2), Article 18 paragraph (1) Article 18 paragraph (2), Article 18 paragraph (3) of Act on Press No. 40/1999.

In the Articles pleaded, the Petitioners mainly questioned the clauses contained in Article 93 paragraph (3) stating that printed mass media and broadcasting institutions are obliged to provide equal to Participants of the Election in displaying and broadcasting campaign advertorial. According to the Petitioners, the stipulation did not provide the solution in the case that there were participants of the campaign having not enough fund and not able to find any parties willing to cooperate in form of social advertorial with them, while the law obliged the media actors to provide equal opportunities. Actually, it was known that commercial was the source of income for the continuation of a press company.

It was considered even more tragically, if the Petitioners did not fulfill that duty, the Petitioners could be imposed with sanction contained in Article 99 letter f: the revocation of broadcasting licenses or printed media publishing licenses. This Sanction, according to the Petitioners was against Article 28 of The 1945 Constitution and Act on Press.

Because of that, the Petitioners demanded the Court to annul the enactment of the reviewed articles.

Regarding the claim, Head of Justice Panel Board Maria Farida Indrati demanded the Petitioners to improve their Petition. Maria explained that the Court s authority was to review an act against the Constitution and not against other acts. Meanwhile Member of the Panel Board, Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, demanded the Petitioners, in the improved Petition, to put clear and sharp legal argumentations for each Article pleaded. The Petitioners, said Mukthie, should have been able to explain, “Why providing equal treatment to Election participant (for media campaign) is considered unconstitutional?”

Before closing the trial, Maria reminded the Petitioners to submit their improved petition within 14 working days. (Wiwik Budi Wasito)

Photo: Doc. MK PR/Ardli N
Translated by Yogi Djatnika / MK

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 | 09:18 WIB 236
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