Labor Party Challenges Provisions on Presidential Threshold
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The Labor Party represented by president Said Iqbal challenging the presidential threshold in the Election Law for, Wednesday (8/23/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — For the umpteenth time, the provisions on presidential threshold as stipulated in Article 222 of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) is being challenged. The case No. 80/PUU-XXI/2023 is the thirty-second petition to challenge said article to the Constitutional Court (MK). The Petitioners were the Labor Party—represented by president Said Iqbal and secretary-general Ferri Nuzarli—as well as journalist Mahardhikka Prakasha Shatya and private employee Wiratno Hadi (Petitioners I-III, respectively).

In the panel hearing on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra and Constitutional Justices Arief Hidayat and Suhartoyo, legal counsel of Petitioner I Feri Amsari said that the party had been disadvantaged by the threshold imposed on political parties or coalition of political parties when proposing presidential tickets. Petitioner I also alleged that no political party or party coalition participating in the election that had fulfilled the provision of Article 222 of the Election Law reflected, fought for, or had goals in line with their ideas. As a political party that focuses on the issues of labor, agriculture, environment, indigenous peoples, the Labor Party aspires to realize a welfare state, which is based on people’s sovereignty, employment, eradication of corruption, and social security.

To meet the threshold, a party or coalition must have obtained at least 20% of the total number of House of Representatives (DPR) seats or 25% of the national valid votes. Based on the previous legislative elections, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) only obtained 8.21%, while the Democratic Party only 7.77%, and even the two combined did not meet the provisions of Article 222 of the Election Law.

“The Labor Party’s ideology is so different from that of other parties, so it faces discrimination [if forced to join a party coalition and unite with parties that have different ideologies] for the sake of democracy. Thus, there are sufficient reasons and losses in the part of Petitioner I due to the enforcement of the provisions of Article 222 of the Election Law and they have legal standing to file this petition,” Feri said.

Failing to be Legislative Candidate

Meanwhile, Petitioner II was once appointed by the Labor Party as a House legislative candidate from the Central Kalimantan electoral district for the 2024 Election. As a result of the election system under the provisions of Article 222 of the Election Law, he would potentially suffer losses if residents in his electoral district, his supporters, and his potential constituents asked why his party joined a coalition that supports the Job Creation Law. Meanwhile, Petitioner III had to drop out of legislative race for the 2024 Election because it would be impossible for the Labor Party to join any coalition of parties that support the Job Creation Law, which it rejects.

Feri also added that the Petitioners requested that the Court be able to hand down a decision before October 19 to provide sufficient time for the Petitioner, the KPU (General Elections Commission), and relevant agencies to make the necessary adjustments to the results of the a quo decision. Meanwhile, in their petitum, they requested that the Court declare Article 222 of the Election Law unconstitutional and not legally binding if not interpreted as “The requirement to propose Candidate Pairs does not apply to Political Parties Participating in Election that have never participated in the previous elections for House members”.

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat responded with a question on the requirement for new political parties to run for the 2024 Election, to strengthen the legal standing of Petitioner I. He also requested that they give elaboration of the changes in the nomination of presidential tickets that differ from that in past petitions.

“Show the contradiction between Article 222 and the touchstones. This argument is contested with Article 6A paragraph (2) and other articles as well. So [the contradiction] is not only showing with one article, while in the petition there are several others,” he advised.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Suhartoyo stated that Article 222 mentions political parties, thresholds, and parties participating in the previous election. Therefore, it is necessary to elaborate the argument relating to these three elements and the position of the Petitioners—the Labor Party and the individuals.

“Can these reasons be different for legal standing concerning Article 222. Review the argument because there could be a debate in identifying whether the Petitioners have legal standing,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi asked the Petitioners to explain that Article 222 and its Elucidation contradict at least 10 touchstone articles. “The academic debate is here. Besides that, explain the argument of the Labor Party’s ideological differences, what its relation to Article 222,” he said.

Before adjourning the session, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi announced that the Petitioners had 14 workdays to revise the petition and submit it to the Registrar’s Office no later than Tuesday, September 5 at 09:00 WIB. The revised petition must be submitted so that the Registrar’s Office can schedule the next hearing.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

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, August 23, 2023 | 16:14 WIB 107
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