Heads of Regions Questions Simultaneous Regional Election

Preliminary hearing for case No. 27/PUU-XXII/2024 on Law No. 10 of 2016 on Regional Elections, Wednesday (2/7/2024). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Thirteen heads of regions have filed a judicial review petition of Article 201 paragraphs (7) , (8), and (9) 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) to the Constitutional Court (MK). The preliminary hearing for case No. 27/PUU-XXII/2024 took place in the plenary courtroom on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

The Petitioners are Jambi governor Al Haris, West Sumatra governor Mahyedi, West Pesisir regent Agus Istiqlal, Malaka regent Simon Nahak, Kebumen regent Arif Sugiyanto, Malang regent Sanusi, Nunukan regent Asmin Laura, Rokan Hulu regent Sukiman, Makassar mayor Moh. Ramdhan Pomanto, Bontang mayor Basri Rase, Bukittinggi mayor Erman Safar, Central Sulawesi governor Rusdy Mastura, and Central Sulawesi vice governor Ma’mur Amin.

Article 201 paragraph (7) of the Pilkada Law reads, “The Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors elected in the 2020 Election shall take office until 2024.” Article 201 paragraph (8) reads, “The national simultaneous voting for the Election of Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors in all territories of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia shall be carried out in November 2024.” Article 201 paragraph (9) reads, “In order to fill the vacant position of the Governor and Vice Governor, Regent and Vice Regent, and Mayor and Vice Mayor whose term ends in 2022 as referred to in paragraph (3) and those whose term ends in 2023 as referred to in paragraph (5), an interim Governor and Vice Governor, Regent and Vice Regent, and Mayor and Vice Mayor shall be appointed until the inauguration of the Governor and Vice Governor, Regent and Vice Regent, and Mayor and Vice Mayor through a simultaneous national election in 2024.”

Before the panel chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra, legal counsel Donal Fariz alleged the articles being petitioned are in violation of Article 18 paragraph (4) of the 1945 Constitution. He also stated that the petition differed from five previous petitions—No. 55/PUU-XVII/2019, 67/PUU-XIX/2021, 18/PUU-XX/2022, 37/PUU-XX/2022, and 95/PUU-XX/2022—in terms of touchstone. In addition, the Petitioners allege that the legislatures had not considered all the technical implications of the 2024 simultaneous regional election, which could potentially hinder the election of quality leaders. Reflecting on the 2019 election, the ad hoc election organizer had overwhelming, irrational workload, which led to the death of approximately 894 ad hoc members and the overwork of 5,175 others. If the 2024 regional election is forced to be held simultaneous with the 2024 presidential and legislative election, it could lead to the repeat of the same history. This could potentially lead to technical chaos, thus violating Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution, which guarantees legal protection to all.

In addition, the Petitioners believe simultaneous presidential, legislative, and regional election could potentially lead to higher chances of corruption, immense threat to security and order, and a tall pile of dispute cases in the Constitutional Court. They also believe that the regional election should be rescheduled with the consideration of its complexity.

Regional Election Reschedule

The Petitioners requested that the Court reconsider the regional election schedule, especially to 270 autonomous regions that held an election in 2020. The believe that given the Court’s judicial activism, this issue must be settled by rescheduling the simultaneous regional election where 276 regions carrying out an election in November 2024 so that the regional heads-elect can work right away, while 270 other regions that held an election in 2020 to hold another in December 2025.

In the petition, the Petitioners not only talk about tenure that would be cut short, but also suggested a more rational regional election schedule based on indicators and prerequisites that the Constitutional Court had laid out in Decision No. 55/PUU-XVII/2019. The shift of regional election in 270 regions to December 2025 would reduce the number of security personnel.

“In this case, the Constitutional Court’s role in improving electoral governance in formulating new norms in the law is important. In practice, the Constitutional Court’s judicial activism has a high level of independence to follow legal values and a sense of justice in society and to provide protection for constitutional rights and resolve legal needs,” Fariz said.

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih highlighted the filing of petition at the end of the term. The articles being petitioned are transitional provisions that also regulates compensation. “In the elaboration of the constitutional impairment, the Petitioners’ loss is not detailed,” she said.

She also asked them to provide a more convincing elaboration of the need for simultaneous election of regional heads in relation to the national development plans.

Next, Constitutional Justice Arsul Sani advised them to harmonize the background of the petition and the petitum. “The arguments should be explained well, such as the potential of major security disturbances and accumulated workload of dispute cases. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra highlighted the need for the Petitioners to assist the Court in providing corrections to previous decisions that have implications on the petition. “The Constitutional Court must take into account that the petition submitted must not cause legal uncertainty. The design of simultaneous election has been confirmed by previous Constitutional Court decisions. It is the duty of the legal counsel to find legal political arguments [to support the argument that] the regional head election would violate constitutional rights,” he said.

At the end of the hearing, Justice Saldi announced that the Petitioners would have 14 days to revise the petition and submit it to the Registrar’s Office by Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 09:00 WIB. 

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Muhammad Halim
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, February 07, 2024 | 16:47 WIB 35
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