After Approving On-Site Hearing, Court Delays Hearing on Election Law

Chief Justice Anwar Usman chairing the material judicial review hearing of the Election Law on the open-list proportional representation, Tuesday (1/17/2022). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | 12:35 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The House of Representatives (DPR) requested that the material judicial review hearing of open-list proportional representation as regulated by Article 168 of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections be changed to on site at the Constitutional Court (MK), which Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other seven constitutional justices approved.

“This morning, during the justice deliberation meeting, the Court granted the House’s request for an on-site hearing,” the chief justice said at the fourth hearing of case No. 114/PUU-XX/2022.

However, he added, the on-site hearing would have to be delayed because the Court had to notify the president, the Petitioners, and the relevant parties (KPU and 11 others). It would also need to prepare for an on-site hearing.

“Therefore, once again, the hearing is postponed until Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 11:00 WIB,” he said.

Chief Justice Anwar Usman also informed that the upcoming hearing would be the first fully on-site hearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read:

Open Proportional System in Election Challenged

Party Members Affirm Background of Petition on Election Law

President Requests Hearing on Election Law Postponed

The petition was filed by Demas Brian Wicaksono (an executive of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle or PDI-P), Yuwono Pintadi (a member of the National Democratic Party or Nasdem), Fahrurrozi, Ibnu Rachman Jaya, Riyanto, and Nono Marijono. They challenge Article 168 paragraph (2), Article 342 paragraph (2), Article 353 paragraph (1) letter b, 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 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        : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 1/18/2023 08:08 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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | 12:35 WIB 271