The Nepotism Allegations Made by the Ganjar-Mahfud Irrelevant

Chief Justice Suhartoyo and Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra chairing the second hearing for the 2024 presidential election dispute case No. 2/PHPU.PRES-XXII/2024, Thursday (3/28/2024). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The allegation of nepotism made by Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates Number 2 Ganjar Pranowo and Moh. Mahfud MD was misdirected since based on Law No. 7 of 2020 on General Elections, examination of alleged nepotism is under Bawaslu’s (Elections Supervisory Body) jurisdiction, not the Constitutional Court’s (MK).

The statement was made by Hifdzil Alim, the legal counsel of the General Elections Commission (KPU) as the Respondent in response to case No. 2/PHPU.PRES-XXII/2024 filed by Ganjar-Mahfud. Hifdzil attended the second hearing of the presidential general election results dispute on Thursday afternoon, March 28, 2024. At the hearing, which was presided over by Chief Justice Suhartoyo and seven other constitutional justices, the Court heard the statements of the Respondent, the Relevant Party, and Bawaslu.

Hifdzil Alim stated that the Respondent rejects every argument or statement submitted by the petitioner, except those explicitly acknowledged in writing by the respondent. Regarding the allegation of nepotism raised by the petitioner and addressed to related parties, the respondent, in this instance, lacks the authority to provide a response.

“There are legal provisions used as reference and basis for scrutinizing and adjudicating allegations of structured, systematic, and massive violations. At least three laws and regulations are pertinent or can be linked to examining allegations of nepotism leading to administrative violations. These include the Election Law, the Law on the implementation of governance free and clean from corruption, collusion, and nepotism; and Bawaslu Regulation No. 8 of 2022 on the administrative resolution of general elections,” he said.

Additionally, as stipulated in the Election Law, it is Bawaslu's task in examining allegations of two types of administrative violations, structured, systematic, and massive (TSM).

"Thus, if there are allegations of structured, systematic, and massive (TSM) administrative violations in the election,Bawaslu retains the capability to investigate allegations of coordinated abuse of power, as argued by the petitioner," clarified Hifdzil.

"Thus," continued Hifdzil, "the Petitioner's argument alleging a legal vacuum, compelling the Constitutional Court to scrutinize allegations of nepotism in elections, collapses. This is because the Election Law and Bawaslu Regulation No. 8/2022 provide adequate legal grounds for investigating nepotism in the administration of elections."

Mere Assumption

On the same occasion, the Related Party represented by Yuri Kemal Fadhlullah emphasized that the Related Party rejected all arguments presented by the Petitioner. He emphasized that the arguments in the principal case are merely assumptive, lacking valid evidence and incapable of being accurately measured. Moreover, they fail to substantiate aspects concerning the extent and magnitude of their impact on the outcome.

Furthermore, Yuri emphasized that the Constitutional Court, as an independent and impartial judicial institution, must inevitably restrain itself when adjudicating political cases, such as in the context of this Presidential  PHPU, to avoid being politicized by other branches of power. However, considering the phenomenon of the judicialization of politics is unavoidable for the Constitutional Court at present,  it is crucial for the Constitutional Court to prioritize the principle of self-limitation in future Presidential Dispute over Vote Results (PHPU) cases to prevent the court from being politicized.

"Furthermore, to prevent redundancy, we can assert that the points conveyed in the introduction and exceptions mutatis mutandis can be made as an integral part," Yuri added.

Comparison of Vote Acquisition

Yuri further elaborated that the Petitioner failed to substantiate the foundational aspects of the purported calculations in their petition. Instead, the Petitioner relied on qualitative assertions concerning allegations of fraud and violations purportedly committed by several parties, presented in narrative form. However, these narratives do not qualify as evidence under the procedural law of the Constitutional Court.

According to Yuri, the Petitioner must clearly, specifically, and explicitly describe who perpetrated the alleged actions, what exactly was done, and where it occurred. Furthermore, he asserted that the arguments presented by the petitioner do not adhere to the guidelines established by the Constitutional Court.

Yuri stated that the Petitioner argued that the discrepancy in votes resulted from violations of structured, systematic, and massive (TSM) violations, as well as general election procedures. However, he emphasized that the Petitioner failed to substantiate both quantitatively and qualitatively how the hypothetical narratives they presented, which idealize the order and regulation of the electoral system, could instantaneously invalidate the 96,214,691 votes cast by Related Party voters who had undergone a series of electoral processes validated as legitimate votes.

Indeed, in substantiating quantitative arguments regarding the acquisition figures in the Presidential PHPU case, the Petitioner is required to provide evidence regarding the data, including any instances of fraud, inflation, or reduction of votes from their own campaign. However, Yuri noted that the arguments put forth by the Petitioner, which align with the Petitioner's own votes based on the Respondent's final recapitulation, demonstrate that the Petitioner has failed to prove the existence of a calculation error.

Not Meeting Material Requirement

On the same occasion, Bawaslu, represented by Bawaslu member Puadi, addressed the petitioner's arguments concerning the manipulation of the final voter list (DPT). Puadi stated that Bawaslu received a report alleging election violations, but the status of the 112 reports couldn't be registered as it failed to meet the material requirements.

Regarding Bawaslu's press release, Puadi mentioned a discrepancy in the implementation of voting at 07:00 local time at 37,466 polling stations. According to Bawaslu's supervision results, election supervisors at various levels had advised Polling Station Committees (PPS) to commence voting at the time stipulated by statutory provisions, which is 07:00 WIB.

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Ganjar-Mahfud allege there has been legal vacuum relating to the prevention, mitigation, and rehabilitation of the impact of nepotism in the Election Law, which led to coordinated abuse of power. Such violations are the key violations in the 2024 presidential election.

Nepotism action that President Joko Widodo did in boosting Gibran Rakabuming Raka as the Vice-Presidential Candidate Number 2, Annisa said, had led to abuse of power in all levels of power and government. This fact is apparent in the Election Law’s lack of mechanism of handling coordinated TSM violations, thus resulting in clear legal vacuum.

The Petitioner also alleges that the electoral law enforcement instruments are ineffective, as seen in the General Elections Commission (KPU) independence in implementing the 2024 presidential election, the Election Organizer Ethics Council’s (DKPP) protection of the KPU (Respondent) from its own decision, and Bawaslu’s (Elections Supervisory Body) ineffective handling of reported violations.

With their arguments, the Petitioner requests that the Court invalidate the KPU Decree No. 360 of 2024, pertaining to the stipulation of the 2024 presidential election results, and to disqualify presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidate Pair Number 02 Prabowo Subianto dan Gibran Rakabuming Raka and the KPU Decree No. 1632 on the stipulation of the 2024 presidential and vice-presidential candidates dated November 13, 2023 and the Decree of the KPU on the 2024 presidential election dated November 14, 2023.

Author : Utami Argawati
Editor : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR : Fauzan Febriyan
Translator : Fuad Subhan (RA)

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.

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 23:30 WIB 78