Court Rejects Petition on Party Verification by Berkarya, Perindo, PSI

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Deputy Chief Justice Aswanto reading out the Court’s legal considerations at the ruling hearing for the judicial review of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections for case No. 48/PUU-XIX/2021, Wednesday (11/24/2021). Photo by Humas MK/Ilham W.M.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 | 22:06 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations— The Constitutional Court (MK) rejected the entire judicial review petition by the Beringin Karya (Berkarya) Party, the United Indonesia (Perindo) Party, and the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), who challenged the verification requirements for political parties contesting in elections in Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections.

“[The Court] adjudicated to reject the Petitioners’ petition in its entirety,” plenary chairman Chief Justice Anwar Usman stressed at a ruling hearing for case No. 48/PUU-XIX/2021 on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 virtually.

In its legal considerations, the Court declared that what the Petitioners challenged was in line with the Court’s ruling in Decision No. 55/PUU-XVIII/2020, despite it having different touchstones—Article 1 paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 22E paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of the 1945 Constitution

“However, the essence of what is petitioned in the a quo case is the same as that in a previous case on the verification of political parties. As such, the legal considerations in the previous case applies, mutatis mutandis, to the a quo case,” said Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul reading out the Court’s opinion.

Therefore, the Court believes the Petitioners’ entire petition legally unwarranted.

Also read: PBB, Berkarya, Perindo, PSI Challenge Provision on Party Verification

Concurring Opinion

Three constitutional justices—Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo, Enny Nurbaningsih, and Saldi Isra—has a concurring opinion. They referred to a dissenting opinion in Decision No. 55/PUU-XVIII/2020.

“We declare a concurring opinion and we stand by the legal reasons as mentioned in the dissenting opinion in Decision No. 55/PUU-XVIII/2020 date May 4, 2021, pages 64-71,” Constitutional Justice Saldi Isra read out.

Referring to said dissenting opinion, verification will be imposed indiscriminately on all political parties contesting in the elections.

“Therefore, the Petitioners’ concern on discrimination against political parties contesting in the elections would not occur as all political parties contesting in the elections are treated equally in that administrative and factual verification are imposed on them,” Justice Saldi stressed.

Also read: Berkarya, Perindo, PSI Revise Petition on Party Verification 

The material judicial review petition was filed by three parties—the Beringin Karya (Berkarya) Party, the United Indonesia (Perindo) Party, and the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI). They challenged Article 173 paragraph (1) of the Election Law, which reads, “A Political Party Contesting in an Election is a political party established as an election contestant following a verification process by the KPU.”

The Petitioners have passed the verification process and declared as contestants in the 2019 Election but did not pass the parliamentary threshold stipulated in Article 414 paragraph (1) of the Election Law, which is 4% of the total national valid votes, to compete for the House of Representatives (DPR) seats.

They were very disadvantaged by the enactment of Article 173 paragraph (1) of the Election Law, which imposes an obligation on the Petitioners to continuously carry out administrative and factual verifications whenever participating in an election. If they do not have sufficient capacity for such a cost-and energy-consuming obligation, they will be automatically prevented from using their political right to participate in the election.

The Petitioners argued that administrative and factual verifications are a technical and procedural aspect to ensure that political parties participating in the election meet the qualifications determined by laws and regulations. This process is acceptable to apply to new political parties because their participation in elections must be checked to ensure their accountability and capability to facilitate the implementation of popular sovereignty through elections.

“However, for political parties that have participated in elections, whose qualifications have been tested because they have passed [requirements] and are allowed to take part in elections, administrative and factual re-verifications are irrelevant. This is because such political parties have passed administrative and factual verifications before participating in the previous general election. Its position is different from that of a political party that has just been established and has never participated in an election. Political parties that have participated in elections have proven their work and have carried out their functions as media for the people to exercise sovereignty according to the Constitution. Therefore, the votes obtained by political parties in the previous election, even if minimal and failed to meet the 4% parliamentary threshold, should not be ignored because [they] are a tangible manifestation of the people’s sovereignty implemented according to the Constitution,” Yusril Ihza Mahendra said at the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

In the petitum, the Petitioners are requesting that Article 173 paragraph (1) of the Election Law not be interpreted as “A Political Party that has passed the 2019 Election verification and passed/fulfilled the Parliamentary Threshold in the 2019 Election shall not undergo administrative and factual re-verification; a political party that has passed the 2019 Election verification but did not pass/fulfill the parliamentary threshold, that only has representation at the provincial/regency/city DPRD, and that does not have representation at the provincial/regency/city DPRD must undergo only administrative re-verifications; a political party that has not participate in the election shall undergo administrative and factual verification.”

Writer        : Nano Tresna Arfana
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Fitri Yuliana
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 11/25/2021 10:16 WIB

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