Expert: Only Indonesian can be Regent Candidate

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Bernard L. Tanya as an expert invited by Petitioner gave his explanation virtually in the follow-up hearing for Regent Election Results Dispute of Sabu Raijua Regency on Tuesday (6/4) in the plenary courtroom. Photo by PR/Ifa.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021  | 23:01 WIB

JAKARTA, PUBLIC RELATIONS - Constitutional Court held the follow-up hearing for the 2020 Regent Election Results Dispute of Sabu Raijua Regency on Tuesday (6/4/2021) with case Number 134/PHP.BUP-XIX/2021 filed by Herman Lawe Liku and Marthen Radja as well as a community called Aliansi Masyarakat Peduli Demokrasi Sabu Raijua (AMPEDO). The hearing was chaired by Chief Justice Anwar Usman with the agenda for examining the Witnesses and/or Experts as well as additional evident submission and validation. 

Bernard L. Tanya as the expert invited by Petitioner explained that in the general election including the Regional Head Election was supposed to be a political recruitment process of a state official inseparable from the issues of sovereignty and national interest. Therefore, the position should only be filled by a national citizen, thus the candidacy of a foreigner running for Regional Head Election was not applicable according to the law. 

Lecturer of the Law Faculty of Nusa Cendana University also mentioned that the candidacy of Orient Patriot Riwu Kore (Relevant Party) who was a foreigner in the Sabu Raijua Regent Election was impaired in the eyes of law and could be a strong legal basis to disqualify him.

He further explained that the case was actually a real and severe violation to the election law and scarring the norms of the constitution. In the context of election principles, it could also be seen as a violation of the principles of honesty and fairness which were supposed to be binding to both the election committee and participants. However, he firmly believed that the Court could rule on the case by referring to the Regional Head Election Results Dispute of Boven Digel.

“Referring to the 2020 Regional Head Election Results Dispute of Boven Digel, the Court decided to disqualify the elected candidate pair and commanded to redo the voting due to it was proven that they failed to fulfill the candidacy requirements related to the 5 years break as an ex-convict for corruption case. The same logic applies to rule out the 2020 Regional Head Election of Sabu Raijua,” he said.

Automatically Lost

Bernard continued to share that once an Indonesian citizen received citizenship from another country then automatically they lost their status as an Indonesian citizen.

“In regards to the necessity of a President’s Decree, it was simply an alternative of 8 items/reasons where a person shall lose their citizenship/nationality, therefore the nature of that specific requirement was alternative and not accumulative,” he said.

He explained that this case had never happened before in the Regional Head Election and that the regime of election law did not anticipate that. Meanwhile, the rules were applicable to the normal situation but not in this specific case. 

“Let’s take the procedural law regarding the time limit of the dispute as an example, the cause of the formally impaired candidacy of Orient Patriot Riwu Kore in the 2020 Regent Election of Sabu Raijua was only found out later after the deadline was passed. In this case, the formally impared condition should be treated as novum that was not limited by a deadline,” he said.

Previously, Petitioner claimed that the Candidate Pair Number 2 named Orient Patriot Riwu Kore held the US citizenship which was formally affirmed by the Embassy of the USs in Jakarta on February 1st, 2021. Petitioner explained that the matter had actually been known by the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) of Sabu Raijua which later be the basis of why Bawaslu sent letter to the KPU of Sabu Raijua (Respondent) on September 5th, 2020 to be careful in ensuring the validity of his citizenship. However, Respondent failed to do so hence admitting Orient to pass the qualification to be candidate and certified him as the elected candidate.

KPU certified the Candidate Pair NUmber 2 Orient Kore and Thobias Uly received the most votes with 21.263 votes followed by Candidate Pair Number 1 Nikdemus Heke-Yohanis Uly Kale with 13.313 votes and Candidate Pair Number 3 Takem Irianto Radja Pono-Herman Hegi Radja with 9.557 votes.

Writer : Fuad Subhan
Editor : Lulu Anjarsari P.
Uploader : Ifa Dwi Septian

Translator: WA
Editor (EN): NL
Managing Editor: BW

Translation uploaded on April 7th, 2021 at 22:12 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian version, the Indonesian version will prevail.