Perludem Challenges Parliamentary Threshold

Perludem’s legal counsel Fadli Ramadhanil conveying the petition at the preliminary material judicial review hearing on parliamentary threshold, Tuesday (10/3/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held a judicial review hearing on parliamentary threshold for the seat allocation of members of the House of Representatives (DPR) as regulated in Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. The case No. 116/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem).

The Petitioner questions the phrase “at least 4% (four percent) of the total national number of valid votes” in Article 414 paragraph (1) of the Election Law, which reads, “A political party contesting in a legislative election must reach the electoral threshold, which is 4% (four percent) of the national number of valid votes, in order to be included in the seat allocation for DPR members.”

Fadli Ramadanil, the Petitioner’s legal counsel, explained the relationship between the parliamentary threshold and the proportional electoral system. The Petitioner argues that the parliamentary threshold is one of the important variables of the electoral system that will have a direct impact on the conversion of votes into seats. The association asserts that the provision of the parliamentary threshold should be associated with Article 168 paragraph (2) of the Election Law, which stipulates that elections to elect members of the House, both at the provincial and regency/city levels, shall be conducted with the open-list proportional system.

“This means that our elections, especially legislative elections, are carried out with the proportional system. In several studies that we refer to in our research, in essence, proportional elections are how the vote acquisition of political parties is in line or in harmony with the number of seats in the legislature and that does not happen with the provision on parliamentary threshold,” he explained before the Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra (panel chair) and Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo and Wahiduddin Adams.

So, the Petitioner argues, the provision on parliamentary threshold is inconsistency or has led to uncertainty and the failure to reach the proportional electoral system because the election results are not proportional.

In the petition, the Petitioner mentions that it is confirmed legislative elections in Indonesia use the proportional system, but the election results show disproportionate results because the percentages of votes obtained by political parties are not in line with those of parliament seats. This means that there are fundamental problems that must be resolved in the proportional election system in Indonesia. The issue impacts the people’s sovereignty as the main foundation of elections as well as the fulfillment of the principle of honest and fair elections as set forth in Article 22E paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution and legal certainty in an election regulation as stipulated in Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution, and the principle of the rule of law in Article 1 paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution.

The Petitioner believes one of the things that determines whether the election results are proportional or not is the parliamentary threshold, which is one of the variables of the electoral system.

Therefore, in the provisional petitum, the Petitioner requests that the Constitutional Court prioritize the review of Article 411 paragraph (1) of the Election Law so that the parliamentary threshold be implemented to the results of the 2024 Election using rational calculations while allowing the Petitioner to prove their case.

Meanwhile, in the subject matter, the Petitioner asks the Court to declare the phrase “at least 4% (four percent) of the total national number of valid votes” in Article 414 paragraph (1) of the Election Law unconstitutional and not legally binding insofar as it is not interpreted as “Political parties participating in the election must meet threshold that is determined based on rational calculations and carried out openly, honestly, and fairly in accordance with the principles of a proportional electoral system.”

In addition, the Petitioner requests the Court to order the President and the House of Representatives as the legislatures to immediately make revisions to the provision of parliamentary treshold in the Election Law by formulating the figure based on rational calculations openly, honestly, and fairly in accordance with the principles of a proportional electoral system.

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Tahlitha Laela/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.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023 | 18:24 WIB 173
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  • Majelis Sidang Panel yang di ketuai oleh Hakim Konstitusi Enny Nurbaningsih. Foto Humas/Fauzan

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