Denny-Difri Challenges South Kalimantan Governor Election Results

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The Petitioner’s attorney Bambang Widjojanto and Heru Widodo at the South Kalimantan governor election, Wednesday (21/7/2021) in the plenary courtroom. Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 14:44 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations—The Constitutional Court (MK) held a preliminary hearing for case No. 146/PHP.GUBXIX/2021 on the 2020 South Kalimantan regional election (pilkada) results dispute settlement on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 in the plenary courtroom. The petition was filed by governor-vice governor candidate pair No. 2 Denny Indrayana-Difriadi (Denny-Difri).

Before the justice panel chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Aswanto, the Petitioner’s attorney Bambang Widjojanto alleged that the South Kalimantan revote process had been tainted by violations and manipulation, indicating a disregard for the direct, public, free, confidential, honest, fair, and democratic election. He alleged that not only were Sahbirin Noor-Muhidin (Candidate Pair No. 1) involved, but there was also strong indication that the election organizers and the bureaucracy had legitimized those violations. He then requested that Sahbirin-Muhidin be disqualified for the allegedly structured, systematic, and massive (TSM) “money politics” or vote buying.

“Candidate Pair No. 1 committed structured, systematic, and massive ‘money politics’ in seven subdistricts that held the revote. The votes that [they] acquired were clearly obtained by setting aside the direct, public, free, confidential, honest, fair, and democratic principles of the election. Regrettably, this action was ignored and welcomed with a red carpet by the South Kalimantan Bawaslu [Elections Supervisory Body], KPU [General Elections Commission], and regional government,” Bambang explained alongside Heru Widodo and the other attorneys of the Petitioner.

He said that Candidate Pair No. 1 had colluded with village heads, heads of neighborhood units (RT), and thugs. The heads of village and RT had received monthly payments as part of the key political strategy to bring Candidate Pair No. 1 to victory. Through their team, Candidate Pair No. 1 had also threatened and forcefully picked up voters to come to the polling stations and vote for them.

Bambang added that the South Kalimantan Bawaslu also contributed to the ‘money politics.’ He alleged that, according to the media, they had openly stated that candidate pairs could pay for their zakat [a form of almsgiving in Islam] in the areas where the revote would take place. As an institution that should have guarded the electoral fairness and honesty, they should have announced that the zakat should be paid through authorized bodies, such as the Muslim Charitable Donations Board (Bazis) [now the National Zakat Board/BAZNAS]. However, they only issued a circular on that matter on May 6, 2021.

Bambang also revealed that the South Kalimantan KPU had sided with Candidate Pair No. 1 by delaying the inauguration of the polling station working committee (KPPS) and inaugurating the former KPPS from the previous election. They also issued a circular on voting requirements that violated the Pilkada Law and benefited Candidate Pair No. 1, who had allegedly mobilized voters to make request the issuance of KTP (identity card) in the final days leading up to revoting day on June 9, 2021. In addition, Bambang alleged, the KPU had deliberately manipulated the final voters list (DPT) in order to prevent valid voters from voting for Candidate Pair No. 2 and to pass illegitimate voters to be able to vote for Candidate Pair No. 1.

In response, Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat reiterated the gist of the petition to the Respondent, the Relevant Party, and Bawaslu. Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih then said that the case concerned a concrete case, so that the evidence must be complete and detailed. “Please, all parties—the Petitioner, the Respondent, the Relevant Party, and Bawaslu—convey [the evidence] as detailed and complete as possible,” she advised.

Before concluding the hearing, panel chair Justice Aswanto informed all parties that the hearing would resume on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 09:00 WIB to hear the statements of the Respondent, the Relevant Party, and Bawaslu.

Also read:

Denny-Difri Reveal South Kalimantan Pilkada Violations in Constitutional Court Session

KPU of South Kalimantan Province Denies Denny-Difri's Petition

Witnesses Revealed Social Aid Misuse in South Kalimantan Regional Head Election

Grant Denny-Difriadi's Petition, The Court Orders Re-Vote for South Kalimantan Regent Election 

At a hearing on Friday afternoon, March 19, 2021, the Court passed a ruling on the 2020 South Kalimantan pilkada results election dispute, petitioned by Candidate Pair Denny-Difri. In its verdict for the Decision No. 124/PHP.GUB-XIX/2021, the Court ordered a revote at all polling stations (TPS) in several subdistricts across the province.

“[The Court] ordered the South Kalimantan [KPU] to hold a revote on the 2020 South Kalimantan governor election at all TPS in South Banjarmasin Subdistrict (Banjarmasin City); Sambung Makmur Subdistrict, Aluh-Aluh Subdistrict, Martapura Subdistrict, Mataraman Subdistrict, and Astambul Subdistrict (Banjar Regency); and at 24 TPS in Binuang Subdistrict (Tapin Regency),” said plenary chairman Chief Justice Anwar Usman alongside the other eight constitutional justices at the ruling hearing.

The Court also ordered the KPU to appoint new chairperson and members of the KPPS in South Banjarmasin Subdistrict (Banjarmasin City); Sambung Makmur Subdistrict, Aluh-Aluh Subdistrict, Martapura Subdistrict, Mataraman Subdistrict, and Astambul Subdistrict (Banjar Regency); as well as at 24 TPS in Binuang Subdistrict (Tapin Regency), which includes TPS 1, TPS 2, TPS 3, TPS 6, and TPS 8 of Tungkap Village; TPS 1, TPS 6, TPS 8, TPS 12, TPS 13, TPS 14, TPS 16, and TPS 18 of Binuang Village; TPS 5, TPS 7, and TPS 10 of Raya Belanti Village; TPS 1, TPS 2, TPS 3, TPS 4, and TPS 5 of Pualam Sari Village; TPS 2 of Padang Sari Village; as well as TPS 1 and TPS 3 in Mekarsari Village.

In its legal considerations, the Court stated that the implementation of every process of the South Kalimantan governor election at all TPS of six subdistricts in South Kalimantan and 24 TPS in Binuang Subdistrict had not been in accordance with statutory regulations, especially the principles of direct, public, free, confidential, honest, and fair election. 

Writer        : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 7/21/2021 23:47 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.