Relevant Party: Electoral Redistricting Follows Principles

The virtual judicial review hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections, Thursday (10/13/2022). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 15:05 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI)—The legislature determines electoral districts to follow the principles of electoral redistricting. It is better for electoral districts to not change in every election in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency as well as provide legal certainty and promote political stability, said the Home Affairs Ministry’s Director-General for Politics and General Administration Bahtiar on behalf of the president at the judicial review of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) on Thursday, October 13, 2022. The fourth hearing for case No. 80/PUU-XX/2022, filed by the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), had been set to hear the House of Representatives (DPR), the president, and the KPU (General Elections Commission).

Meanwhile, new autonomous regions are a logical consequence of every change in political policy as mandated by the law. “Therefore, the Petitioner’s concern of new autonomous regions impacting seat allocation in the House is not legally warranted, because the Government will make adjustments and follow up on resulting changes due to the law on the formation of new autonomous regions,” Bahtiar said before Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other constitutional justices.

Also read: Perludem Questions Provision on Electoral Districts of New Autonomous Regions in Election Law

Population Divider Number

Meanwhile, M. Afifuddin, representing the KPU as a Relevant Party, said in electoral redistricting, many countries use the principle of equal population by first determining the quota population. In electoral redistricting for regency/city DPRD (Regional Legislative Council), the KPU uses the population divider number (with BPPd), i.e. the number of residents directly proportional to the number of seats obtained. In other words, the value of seats in electoral districts are similar. This BPPd is an ideal value because of regional grouping, which creates a “seat value bias” due to a requirement for maximum and minimum seat allocation.

In electoral redistricting for regency/city DPRD, the KPU does several stages: drafting KPU regulation; receiving population aggregate data from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Geospatial Information Agency; observing regional data and maps from the Ministry of Home Affairs; determining the number of residents and seats in each regency/city based on population data (DAK2); drafting the electoral redistricting plans; public announcements and responses in the regency/city KPU; public testing of electoral district arrangement by inviting political parties, election observers, NGOs, regency/city Bawaslu, DPRD, and other stakeholders. After everything is done, the KPU also conducts a simulation of the determination and mapping of the electoral districts.

“Based on the responsibilities, authorities, evaluation results and studies of the KPU as an election organizer, it is recommended that the KPU implement the mandate of the 1945 Constitution and Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections. For the 2024 General Election, electoral redistricting has started on October 14, 2022 until February 9, 2023,” Afifuddin explained.

Before concluding the session, Chief Justice Anwar Usman announced the next hearing to commence on October 20 at 11:00 WIB to her the House and two experts for the Petitioner.

Also read:

Perludem Explains Their Legal Standing in Case Against Election Law

House, President Request Reschedule of Hearing on Electoral Districts in Election Law

In the petition, the Petitioner, who challenges Article 187 paragraph (1), Article 187 paragraph (5), Article 189 paragraph (1), Article 189 paragraph (5), and Article 192 paragraph (1), argued 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.

They also asserted 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 described in further detail by Attachment III, an inseparable part of this law” unconstitutional if not interpreted as “An electoral district as referred to in paragraph (1) and the number of available seats for each district for an election of members of DPR as referred to in paragraph (2) shall be regulated in a KPU regulation.”

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

Translation uploaded on 10/19/2022 13:21 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.

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