Ministerial expert staff for economy and development La Ode Ahmad Pidana Bolombo testifying on behalf of the president at the judicial review hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections for case No. 68/PUU-XX/2022, Wednesday (9/14/2022). Photo by MKRI.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | 18:03 WIB
JAKARTA (MKRI)—If a minister who intends to run for the election as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate must resign, as the Change Movement Party of Indonesia (Garuda) requested, it would disrupt the stability of the administration, said ministerial expert staff for economy and development La Ode Ahmad Pidana Bolombo on behalf of the Government at the fourth material judicial review hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) for case No. 68/PUU-XX/2022 on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
He said Article 7 of Law No. 39 of 2008 on State Ministries stipulates that ministries have the duty to perform certain matters in government in order to help the president with the state administration.
“Therefore, if a minister resigns before their term of office expires in order to run as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate, it will disrupt the stability of the administration and services to the people will not be fulfilled because a minister’s duty is assisting the president in state administration in order to implement the president’s vision and mission and to realize state goals as mandated in the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution,” he asserted before Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other eight constitutional justices.
Bolombo added that ‘state officials,’ as referred to in Article 122 letter j of Law No. 5 of 2014 on State Civil Apparatus, are “ministers and ministerial-level positions.” As assistants to the presidents who perform administrative functions or are state administrative officials in state administration, ministers, are state officials.
“Article 170 paragraph (1) and the elucidation to Law No. 7 of 2017 is one of the arrangements to maintain the neutrality of state officials. However, the minister is not only a state official, but also a government official. Therefore, if the minister’s position as the highest leader in the ministry is vacant, this can lead to disruption of the stability of the administration of government and state administration in realizing state goals as mandated in the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution,” he explained.
He also said that the Government appreciated the public’s efforts to contribute in developing an understanding of the state administration. He asserted that the public’s contribution will be a valuable reference to the Government and the Indonesian people.
“On this basis, the Government hopes that the Petitioners will be able to provide inputs and responses to the improvement of the a quo Law in the future,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III member Habiburokhman said on behalf of the House that the minister holds executive power, which it shares with the president and the vice president. “So, it is odd if the president and the vice president are not obligated to resign, but ministers are,” he said.
He also said that the Petitioners referred to the Constitutional Court Decisions No. 45/PUU-VIII/2010, 12/PUU-XI/2013, 57/PUU-XI/2013, 41/PUU-XII/2014, and 33/PUU-XIII/2015. Those cases were related to the resignation of state officials in casu ministers, as the resignation of civil servants (PNS), military officers (TNI), the police, and BUMN (SOE) or BUMD (region-owned enterprises) were justified with considerations that led to debates and differing opinions, such as relating to term of office, type of profession, the method to obtain the position from the election, or professional offices that are career choices.
“This means that this choice cannot be applied as a whole as a basis or consideration for the a quo petition regarding the resignation of state officials in casu ministers,” he said.
The Garuda Party’s chairman Ahmad Ridha Sabana and secretary-general Yohanna Murtika challenge Article 170 paragraph (1) of the Election Law. They argued that minsters are state officials excluded from having to resign if nominated as a president/vice president candidate by a political party or a coalition. The current ministers within the Onward Indonesia Cabinet, as well as the Petitioners who nominated a minister as a president/vice president candidate would potentially or inevitably suffer constitutional impairment according to logical reasoning. On the other hand, when a governor or vice governor, a regent or vice regent, a mayor or a vice mayor is nominated as a president/vice president candidate, they would only need a permission from the president, pursuant to Article 171 paragraph (1) of the Election Law.
The Petitioners believe different treatment between ministers and governors, vice governors, regents, vice regents, mayors and vice mayors when nominated as president and vice president by the Petitioner has also harmed and caused injustice to the Petitioners, [in violation of] Article 22E of the 1945 Constitution. They asserted that the phrase ‘state official’ in 171 paragraph (1) of the Election Law was unconstitutional and not legally binding if not interpreted as “A state official nominated by a Political Party Contesting in an Election or a Coalition thereof as a candidate of president or vice president must resign from their position as a state official, except if they are a president, a vice president, a leader or a member of the MPR, a leader or a member of the DPR, a leader or a member of the DPD, a governor, a vice governor, a regent, a vice regent, a mayor, or a vice mayor.”
Writer : L.A. Purwaningtyas
Editor : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR : Tiara Agustina
Translator : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)
Translation uploaded on 9/19/2022 09:37 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.