Tenure Cut Short, Seven Regional Heads Challenge Regional Election Law
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Petitioners, Bogor mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto (center) and Gorontalo mayor Marten A. Taha (right), with legal counsel Donal Fariz (left) attending the preliminary hearing of the judicial review on the provisions on regional heads’ tenure, Wednesday (11/15/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Seven regional heads have challenged the provisions on the tenure of regional heads who were elected in the 2018 Regional Election (Pilkada), as regulated in the Regional Election Law (Pilkada Law). The Petitioners are Maluku governor Murad Ismail, East Java vice governor Emil E. Dardak, Bogor mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto, Bogor vice mayor Didie A. Rachim, Gorontalo mayor Marten A. Taha, Padang mayor Hendri Septa, and Tarakan mayor Khairul. They challenge Article 201 paragraph (5) of Law No. 10 of 2016 on the Second Amendment to Law No. 1 of 2015 on the Stipulation of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 1 of 2014 on the Election of Governors, Regents, and Mayors into Law (Pilkada Law).

Article 201 paragraph (5) of the Pilkada Law reads, “The Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors elected in the 2018 Election shall take office until 2023.” The Petitioners believe it to be in violation of Article 1 paragraphs (2) and (3), Article 18 paragraph (4), Article 27 paragraph (1), and Article 28 paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution.

The preliminary examination hearing for case No. 143/PUU-XXI/2023 was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 in the Court’s plenary courtroom. At the hearing, legal counsel Donal Fariz stated that although the a quo article had been reviewed and decided by the Court (Decisions No. 55/PUU-XVII/2019 and No. 67/PUU-XIX/2021), but the legal basis for this petition differs from that of the previous petitions. He argued that it could potentially cut the Petitioners’ tenure short to under five years because it would end in 2023. They believe that the end of their tenure would in no way disrupt the national election scheduled for November 2024. The appointment of regional heads to run government should be done after the regional heads complete their tenure. Thus, Article 201 paragraph (5) of the Pilkada Law has factually caused constitutional harm to the Petitioners.

“In the petitum, [the Petitioners request that the Court] declare the provision in Article 201 paragraph (5) of Law No. 10 of 2016 [which reads] ‘The Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors elected in the 2018 Election shall take office until 2023’ contrary to the provisions in the 1945 Constitution and has no binding legal force as long as it is not interpreted as ‘The Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors elected and inaugurated in the 2018 Election shall take office until 2023 and The Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors inaugurated in 2019 shall take office for 5 (five) years since their inauguration as long as it does not pass the simultaneous national voting in 2024,’” said said Donal before Chief Justice Suhartoyo, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra, and Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh.

Petitioners’ Petitum

Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra observed the different legal bases between the current and previous petitions. He emphasized the importance of the Petitioners outlining the stages of pilkada and the voting process until the regional heads’ swearing-in.

“Because this is very relevant to the petition filed. Please ensure this, because the voting will reportedly be shifted from November to September, it needs elaboration by the Petitioners. Therefore, what is presented in the petitum can be explained based on the stages of the regional election,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Foekh observed at the legal standing of the public officials who filed the petition. “Because mayor and vice mayor is in one decree so it is necessary to consider the unity of their legal standing, because it is impossible to extend the tenure of the vice mayor or mayor alone. Therefore, their legal standing needs to be further strengthened and clarified,” he suggested.

Furthermore, Chief Justice Suhartoyo stated that it is necessary for the Petitioners to submit data regarding regional officials who have experienced the same situation. Additionally, he asked the Petitioners to pay attention to the petitum, which he considered biased.

“This is biased ‘as long as it does not pass the national voting in 2024’ because is it before the polling stations are opened or what? This can cause legal uncertainty. Furthermore, when does the government appoint its officials? This needs to be clear,” he explained.

At the end of the hearing, Chief Justice Suhartoyo said the Petitioners were given 14 workdays to revise their petition. Therefore, the revised petition must be submitted no later than Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 09:00 WIB to the Registrar’s Office.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Najwa Afifah Lukman/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, November 15, 2023 | 15:25 WIB 18
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