Perludem Questions Provision on Electoral Districts of New Autonomous Regions in Election Law
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Constitutional Justices Saldi Isra, Wahiduddin Adams, and Manahan M. P. Sitompul at the preliminary hearing of the judicial review of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections, Thursday (9/1/2022). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.


Thursday, September 1, 2022 | 14:43 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI)—The Constitutional Court (MK) held the preliminary hearing of the judicial review of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) on Thursday, September 1, 2022 in the panel courtroom. the case No. 80/PUU-XX/2022 was filed by the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem). One of the legal counsels, Fadli Ramadhanil, conveyed the Petitioner’s challenge against Article 187 paragraph (1), Article 187 paragraph (5), Article 189 paragraph (1), Article 189 paragraph (5), and Article 192 paragraph (1).

Article 187 paragraph (1) reads, “An electoral district in an election of members of the DPR shall be a province, a regency/city, or a combination thereof.” Article 187 paragraph (5) reads, “Electoral districts, as mentioned in paragraph (1), and available seats allocated to each district in an election of members of the DPR as mentioned in paragraph (2) shall be described in further detail by Attachment III, an inseparable part of this law.” Article 189 paragraph (1) reads, “An electoral district in an election of members of Provincial DPRD shall be a regency/city or a combination thereof.” Article 189 paragraph (5) reads, “Electoral district, as mentioned in paragraph (1), and the number of available seats for each district for an election of members of Provincial DPRD as mentioned in paragraph (2) shall be described in further detail by Attachment IV, an inseparable part of this law.” Article 192 paragraph (1) reads, “An electoral district in an election of members of Regency/City DPRD shall be a sub-district or a combination thereof.”

Fadli conveyed an argument that the preparation of electoral districts must fulfill the principles of people’s sovereignty and direct, public, free, confidential, honest, and fair elections. The Petitioner believe general elections are a means to embody popular sovereignty as enshrined in Article 1 paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution. Therefore, the preparation of electoral districts is one of the important stages at the beginning of the process of general elections. This is to ensure that representation be carried out through general elections in accordance with the principles of honest, fair, proportional, and democratic elections.

“The electoral district becomes an important variable in the electoral system that functions as a scope or limitation of the administrative area as an arena of competition as well as the number of seats contested by political parties and as an arena for political representation by political parties or candidates and voters,” he explained before Constitutional Justices Saldi Isra (panel chair), Wahiduddin Adams, and Manahan M. P. Sitompul.

Then, legal counsel Heroik Pratama conveyed the other reason of the petition: to prove that the preparation of electoral districts was contrary to the principles and allocation of seats for the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Provincial Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) as regulated in those norms. The main principles are equality of votes, adherence to a proportional electoral system, restriction of seat reallocation, and the formation of new electoral districts for the House and DPRD election in the New Autonomous Region. This norm, Heroik added, regulates the number of seats and regional boundaries in an electoral district of the House election in Appendix III, but does not regulate the mechanism for forming electoral districts for new autonomous regions.

Therefore, in the petitum, the Petitioner requested that the Court grant the entire petition; declare Article 187 paragraph (1) of the Election Law unconstitutional if not interpreted as “An electoral district in an election of members of the DPR shall be a province, a regency/city, or a combination thereof whose formation was based on the provision of Article 185;” declare Article 187 paragraph (5) of the Election Law unconstitutional if not interpreted as “Electoral districts, as mentioned in paragraph (1), and available seats allocated to each district in an election of members of the DPR as mentioned in paragraph (2) shall be regulated in a KPU regulation.” They also requested that the Court declare Article 189 paragraph (1) unconstitutional if not interpreted as “An electoral district in an election of members of Provincial DPRD shall be a regency/city or a combination thereof whose formation was based on the provision of Article 185.”

“The Petitioner requested that the Court declare Article 189 paragraph (5) of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections [which reads], ‘Electoral district, as mentioned in paragraph (1), and the number of available seats for each district for an election of members of Provincial DPRD as mentioned in paragraph (2) shall be described in further detail by Attachment IV, an inseparable part of this law,’ be declared unconstitutional if not interpreted as ‘Electoral district, as mentioned in paragraph (1), and the number of available seats for each district for an election of members of Provincial DPRD as mentioned in paragraph (2) shall be regulated in a KPU regulation;” Article 192 paragraph (1) [which reads], ‘An electoral district in an election of members of Regency/City DPRD shall be a sub-district or a combination thereof’ be declared unconstitutional if not interpreted as ‘An electoral district in an election of members of Regency/City DPRD shall be a sub-district or a combination thereof whose formation was based on the provision of Article 185,’” Heroik added.

Constitutional Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Wahiduddin Adams advised the Petitioner to include its statute/bylaw that states that the chairman and treasurer may represent the association in and out of the court and are still currently in office to confirm their legal standing. He also recommended that they elaborate the specific constitutional impairment they experienced.

“Throughout this petition, 32 words show inconsistency with the articles being petitioned, even in the petitum,” Justice Wahiduddin asserted.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul observed the Petitioner’s legal standing in relation to the absence of the articles petitioned. He added that the posita and the beginning of the petition must show contradiction between the articles and the touchstones. He also advised them to include the Court’s authority as stipulated in the Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) No. 2 of 2021.

Next, Constitutional Justice Saldi Isra advised the Petitioner to refer to the loss of their constitutional rights when elaborating their legal standing because they must distinguish between constitutional rights and the constitutional basis for assessing the constitutionality of the norms. “So, the Petitioner must look carefully at the reasons to file the petition, whether all the articles being challenged really contradict the touchstones,” he said.

Before concluding the session, Justice Saldi reminded the Petitioner to revise the petition and submit it no later than 14 workdays after the hearing. The revised petition must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office directly or by email no later than September 14, 2022.

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 9/7/2022 15:11 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.


Thursday, September 01, 2022 | 14:43 WIB 209