Labor Party Challenges Provision on Voting Address Change

The provision on voting address change as stipulated in Article 348 paragraph (4) of Law No. 7 of 2017 on Elections challenged in Court, Wednesday (2/7/2024). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The provision on voting address change in Article 348 paragraph (4) of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) has been materially challenged to the Constitutional Court (MK). The Labor Party and private employee Cecep Khaerul Anwar filed the petition No. 28/PUU-XXII/2024. The preliminary hearing for the case took place on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, with Chief Justice Suhartoyo chairing the panel.

“Petitioner I could experience specific and potential constitutional impairment which according to logical reasoning is inevitable due to the enforcement of Article 348 paragraph (4) letters a, c, d, and e of Law No. 7 of 2017. Their specific constitutional impairment is the loss of the right and opportunity to be elected as a contestant of the 2024 election. According to logical reasoning, the impairment is inevitable because Petitioner I has been officially declared a contestant in the 2024 election by the KPU, but will obviously lose their right and opportunity to be voted by voters who will vote outside of their original electoral district on voting day,” said the Petitioners’ legal counsel Imam Nasef, who appeared before the Court virtually.

Meanwhile, Petitioner II possibly cannot vote in his registered domicile due to economic and geographical limitations, since he cannot return to his hometown to vote. He alleges that Article 348 paragraph (4) of the Election Law has restricted the Petitioners’ right and opportunity to vote and be elected as it stipulates that relocating voters can only vote for the president and vice president and cannot vote for members of the DPR (House of Representatives), DPD (Regional Representatives Council), and provincial and regency/city DPRD (Regional Legislative Council).

The Petitioners also proposed a provisional petitum to urge the Court to prioritize the case and rule it before election day on February 14 while maintaining compliance to its procedural law. For those reasons, they request that the Court accept and grant the petitums and declare Article 348 paragraph (4) of the Election Law conditionally unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Justices’ Advice

In response, Constitutional Justice Ridwan Mansyur advised the Petitioners to change the elaboration of the Court’s authority in the petition. He explained that they had misquoted an article in Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) No. 2 of 2021, i.e. Article 1 point 3, a general provision, which supposed to be Article 2.

“Shouldn’t you quote Article 2, which contains the object that is under the Court’s jurisdiction? In addition, there are two petitioners. Please make certain of their legal standing. Please confirm the elaboration for Petitioner II. Has he changed voting address and where will he vote?” Justice Ridwan advised.

Next, Constitutional Justice Arsul Sani asked the Petitioners to make a reference to confirm their argument that the provision on voting address change has caused a lot of potential voters to abstain.

“To affirm the argument or the background of the petition, it would be better and convincing to mention more valid references or resources, such as those from research centers, the KPU General Elections Commission), Bawaslu (Elections Supervisory Body), or certain NGOs such as Perludem (Association for Elections and Democracy),” he said.

Chief Justice Suhartoyo also advised the Petitioners to simplify the petition and revise the elaboration of constitutional impairment, especially for Petitioner I as a contestant in the 2024 election.

“The loss or the organization in the form of restriction of right due to the norm that could potentially reduce votes for the party as argued earlier since the Labor Party is contesting (in the 2024 election) and keep many voters from voting in their original voting address following their DPT (final voters list),” he said.

Before the hearing concluded, the panel announced that the Petitioners would have 14 days to revise the petition and submit it by submit it by February 20, 2024 at 09:00 WIB.

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Andhini S. F.
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 | 18:57 WIB 25
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