Anies-Muhaimin’s Experts and Witnesses Highlight Gibran’s Candidacy and Social Assistance

Experts and witnesses for Presidential Ticket Anies Rasyid Baswedan-A. Muhaimin Iskandar taking oath before testifying at a presidential election dispute hearing, Monday (4/1/2024). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held another hearing on the 2024 presidential election results dispute (PHPU). The hearing for Case No. 1/PHPU.PRES-XXII/2024, filed by Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidate Pair Number 01 Anies Rasyid Baswedan-A. Muhaimin Iskandar, took place on Monday, April 1, 2024 in the plenary courtroom. The agenda was to listen to the testimonies of the Petitioner’s experts and witnesses along with the approval of the Petitioner’s additional evidence.

Election expert Bambang Eka Cahya Widodo said in his statement that the General Elections Commission (KPU) had let Gibran Rakabuming Raka participated in the presidential ticket registration and document verification, which constitutes a deliberate violation of the principle of legal certainty. This stems from the fact that Gibran’s verification relied on the legal framework outlined in KPU Regulation (PKPU) No. 19 of 2023, whereas the appropriate legal basis should have been PKPU No. 23 of 2023, which aligned with the Constitutional Court Decision No. 90/PUU-XXI/2023.

“Accepting this ineligible candidate constitutes a discriminatory practice. Gibran’s candidacy, which clearly deviates from the age requirement, was equated with that of other candidates who met the age criterion specified in PKPU No. 19 of 2023, which had not followed the Constitutional Court Decision No. 90 of 2023. The KPU should have prioritized amending PKPU No. 19 of 2023 prior to accepting the candidates’ registration. In this instance, the registration dossier of Candidate Pair 02 was accepted and verified. Consequently, the KPU breached fundamental principles governing elections, including independence, honesty, fairness, legal certainty, and organizational neutrality,” Bambang Eka explained from the podium in the plenary courtroom.

He also explained that Gibran’s participation in the 2024 election created inequality due to the changing requirement in a short time in the middle of the registration process. As a result, dysfunction occurred in the election, which is a procedural democracy. He also said that the Election Law should not have been changed in the middle of an election in order to create equal opportunities and so that no party specifically benefits from the change. 

Effect of Social Assistance on Vote Acquisition

The next expert was Vid Adrison, an economics expert of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia. He elucidated on the impact of social assistance (bansos) on the vote acquisition of the candidate pair supported by the current president. Vid claimed that social assistance proved effective in bolstering the votes of the incumbent-supported candidate pair as it was recognized as a government policy. This prevents people from denying that the assistance had originated from the Government rather than from community efforts or other parties.

“Social assistance targets the poor. It’s essential to note that the value of monetary aid varies based on recipients’ income levels, which naturally differ among individuals. Those with lower incomes and education tend to exhibit myopic tendencies, that is, focusing more on immediate concerns rather than long-term ones. This short-term focus is reflected in the findings by [pollster Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI)], which revealed that 69% of social assistance recipients in 2024 voted for Candidate Number 02 in the 2024 presidential election. Consequently, there was a positive correlation between the magnitude of assistance in any form and the acquisition of votes,” explained Vid. 

Vid further elaborated that high economic growth and low unemployment rates were not effective in significantly increasing votes. This is because the public perceives such developments as predominantly stemming from the community’s hard work rather than the Government’s efforts. So, the economy appears to run on autopilot in the public’s perception. He added that, this discrepancy in response was due to psychological factors. People tend to place greater emphasis on negative events than positive ones. He illustrated this with the influence of President Jokowi’s visit on the vote acquisition of Candidate 02.

“Jokowi’s visits effectively bolstered Prabowo’s vote in the 2024 election. Meanwhile, Prabowo’s visits led to a decrease in Ganjar’s vote and did not impact Anies’ vote in the 2024 election. However, the combination of Prabowo’s visits and the votes for Jokowi in 2019 further augmented Prabowo’s votes in the 2024 election,” Vid clarified.

Vid also presented the calculation of Candidate 02’s vote acquisition without the president’s support and the absence of social assistance. “The Government should not use social assistance as a political tool, as community protection programs must continue to be provided as clear evidence of the state’s responsibility to its citizens in need. Considering that social assistance is funded by taxpayers, regulations are necessary to minimize the risk of its misuse to boost the vote acquisition of candidates backed by the incumbent,” said Vid, an economist from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. 

Social Assistance Anomalies

Economist Faisal Basri revealed in his testimony the anomalies in the distribution of social assistance in 2024. He said that based on the advice of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), social assistance should not be dispensed three months before election. However, this was not disseminated in this election. This is apparent in the disbursement of El Nino assistance that was extended despite the disaster event having passed.

“The [purpose] was clearly to bolster votes, based on existing data. This is because world food issue eased until December and the price of rice on the international market in January fell, but in Indonesia it rose and was the highest in history. The Government increased its social assistance for the poor and the non-poor, with the aspiration for a one-round election,” Faisal said.

Social Assistance Extension Unconstitutional

The next expert for the Petitioner, Anthony Budiawan, said that the extension of the social assistance distribution until June 2024 is constitutional since the order was made unilaterally without the House’s approval and was not stipulated in any law, thus in violation of Law No. 17 of 2003 on State Finances. Any violation to the 2024 state budget and expenditures (APBN) constitutes act of corruption that contradicts Law No. 31 of 1999 on the Eradication of Criminal Acts of Corruption.

“In December 2023, under [President Joko Widodo’s] order, the Ministry of Finance blocked the state budget or implemented an automatic adjustment of 50.15 trillion rupiahs. This was admitted by [Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs] Airlangga Hartarto, who blocked the budgets of several ministries/agencies for social assistance until June 2024,” he revealed.

Administratively Flawed

Meanwhile, Ridwan, a law expert from Universitas Islam Indonesia (Islamic University of Indonesia) Yogyakarta explained that in terms of administrative law, the vice-presidential candidacy process and the stipulation of the 2024 election results were not valid since at the time of registration, which the KPU had determined, the General Elections Commission Regulation (PKPU) No. 19 of 2023 had not been revised yet. Therefore, the regulation in force at the time require that presidential tickets be at least forty years old. As such, Gibran did not meet the requirement, despite the KPU issuing the Decree No. 1632 of 2023 on the presidential tickets for the 2024 election.

“From the perspective of administrative law, this decree is flawed in its considerations and content because it includes Gibran, whose registration is not valid. Therefore, the content of the KPU Decree No. 360 of 2024 on the certification of the 2024 election results is also flawed because it includes Gibran, whose registration is not valid,” Ridwan said.

President’s Partiality

Expert in regional autonomy Djohermansyah Djohan explained that the 2024 presidential election had not been free, honest, and fair as mandated by Article 22E paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. This is because President Joko Widodo as the executive has been supporting the Candidate Pair Number 2, as seen from his actions and words before and during the presidential campaign.

“Indonesian voters tend to be paternalistic and feudalistic due to their low level of education. In these conditions, the position of regional heads, state officials, and village heads is very strategic in influencing voters’ attitudes,” Djohermansyah said.

Sirekap’s Irregularity

Digital forensics expert Yudi Prayudi explained his views on the irregularity of the KPU’s Recapitulation Information System (Sirekap), which he believes facilitated violations in the 2024 presidential election. The implementation of Sirekap, which is the main and auxiliary tool that shows the KPU’s commitment to the use of technology, did not go well as it does not meet the qualifications of a credible system.

“[I] believe there is vulnerability to Sirekap since it has [common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE)]. One that [I] suspect is the signatures on the C result forms uploaded onto The results for the same person look different. Many similar irregularities were found by [the campaign teams of presidential tickets] 01 and 03,” he stressed.

KPU’s Mistake

Witness Arief Patramijaya testified on the KPU’s mistake in certifying the prospective presidential tickets. Patra represented the Indonesian Democratic Defenders Team (TPDI) when providing legal defense for the complainants at the Election Organizer Ethics Council (DKPP) hearings in November 2023 through February 2024. The DKPP ruled the case on February 5, 2024 by declaring the KPU having violated several articles relating to the registration of Gibran as a vice-presidential candidate in the 2024 election.

“In its ruling, the DKPP handed down the third last warning to [KPU chair] Hasyim Asy’ari and imposed harsh sanctions on KPU members,” Patra said.

Alleged Vote Inflation

Witness Amrin Harun, an election observer, alleged that many C result forms had not been uploaded on Sirekap. Amid strong allegations of vote inflation in the community, he said, he was compelled to observe data on several subdistricts on Sirekap.

“I found discrepancies between Sirekap and C result forms in North Sumatera. These forms were supposed to be pure and should not have shown any discrepancies in the signatures and traces of correction fluid on the pages,” Amrin said virtually from the United States.

Also read:

Anies-Muhaimin File Petition on Dispute Over Presidential Election Results

Anies-Muhaimin Demand Revote in the Presidential Election Without Prabowo-Gibran

Ganjar-Mahfud File Petition on Dispute Over Presidential Election Results

Ganjar-Mahfud Allege Abuse of Power as Key Violation of 2024 Presidential Election

KPU and Prabowo-Gibran Refutes Allegation of Violations

The Nepotism Allegations Made by the Ganjar-Mahfud Irrelevant

This hearing presented testimonies by experts and witnesses for the Petitioner and approved the Petitioner’s additional evidence. The Anies-Muhaimin pair presented seven experts to testify according to their expertise: Bambang Eka C.W., Faisal Basri, Ridwan, Anthony Budiawan, Vid Adrison, Djohermansyah Djohan, and Yudi Prayudi.

They also presented eleven witnesses: Mirza Zulkarnaen, Muhammad Fauzi, Anies Prijo A., Andry Hermawan, Surya Dharma, Achmad Husain, Mislaini Suci Rahayu, Sartono, Arief Patramijaya, Amrin Harun, and Adnin Armas. These witnesses testified to support the Petitioner’s arguments.

Author         : Sri Pujianti
Editor          :
Nur R.
Translator    : Fuad Subhan, Yuniar Widiastuti (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.

Monday, April 01, 2024 | 15:26 WIB 82