Party Members Affirm Background of Petition on Election Law

Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat chairing the judicial review hearing for the Election Law for case No. 114/PUU-XX/2022, Wednesday (12/7/2022). Photo by MKRI/Panji.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | 13:15 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held a second hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. Two political party members—Demas Brian Wicaksono (an executive of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)), Yuwono Pintadi (a member of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem))—and four individual citizens—Fahrurrozi, Ibnu Rachman Jaya, Riyanto, and Nono Marijono—filed the petition No. 114/PUU-XX/2022. They challenged Article 386 paragraph (2) letter b, Article 420 letters c and d, Article 422, Article 424 paragraph (2), and Article 426 paragraph (3) of the Election Law.

At the petition revision hearing, the Petitioners’ legal counsel Sururudin conveyed the revisions to the petition. The legal standing of Petitioners I, II, and III as activists at an organization who have concerns about the election were affirmed. In addition, they explained that Petitioner III has an active role in education while Petitioner IV is planning to run in the election and Petitioner V was a member of Nasdem.

“The Petitioners are citizens who care about the progress of democracy and democratic process as well as the general elections. In essence, the Petitioners feel harmed because the articles challenged harmed them,” Sururudin said before Constitutional Justices Arief Hidayat (panel chair), Suhartoyo, and Manahan M. P. Sitompul.

He also said that the background of the petition had been revised to talk about how polarized opinions around the 2017-2019 elections had weakened political parties. This was due to increased individualism and lack of political participation, which also weakened the people’s sense of unity. After the open system was implemented, the people tend to listen to individualistic opinions.

Also read: Open Proportional System in Election Challenged

At the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, November 23, the Petitioners argued that the norms, relating to the proportional representation based on majority votes has been misused by popular pragmatic electoral candidates without ideological connection, political party affiliation, and experience in managing any political party organization or socio-politics-based organizations. As a result, when elected as members of the House of Representatives (DPR) or the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), they tend to act for their own interest instead of representing their part. As such, there should be a party authority that determines who is eligible to become a party representative in parliament after attending political training.

In addition, the Petitioners asserted, the a quo articles have cultivated individualism among politicians, resulting in internal conflicts within the parties. This is because the proportional representation is seen to have resulted in political liberalism or free competition that prioritizes individual victory in elections. This competition should instead exist among political parties because election participants are affiliated with political parties, not individuals, as stated in Article 22E paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution.

The Petitioners were harmed because these articles regulated the system for determining elected candidates based on the majority votes because it had made elections costs excessive and led to complex issues, such as unhealthy competition between candidates because it encourages candidates to commit fraud by bribing election organizers. Therefore, he added, if those articles were annulled, it would reduce vote buying and lead to clean, honest, and fair elections. In addition, the proportional representation based on majority votes is costly and hurt the state budget, for example for the printing of ballots for the election of the House, provincial and regency/city DPRD. They also requested in their petitum that the Court declare the word ‘open’ in Article 168 paragraph (2) of the Election Law unconstitutional and not legally binding.

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

Translation uploaded on 12/7/2022 14:35 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.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022 | 13:15 WIB 394