Not Yet Five Years After Serving Sentence, Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra Disqualified from Revoting in Tarakan Tengah 1

The Petitioner’s legal counsel Muallim Bahar at a ruling hearing for the 2024 legislative election results dispute of Tarakan Tengah on Thursday (6/6/2024). Photo by MKRI/Teguh.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) granted in part of the PPP’s (United Development Party) petition related to the Tarakan City DPRD (Regional Legislative Council) election in Electoral District 1, Tarakan Tengah Sub-district, Tarakan City, North Kalimantan Province. In Decision No. 226-01-17-24/PHPU.DPR-DPRD-XXII/2024, the Court disqualified a legislative candidate from Golkar (Party of Functional Groups), Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra, who is a former prisoners and has not passed the 5-year interval. This verdict was read out by Chief Justice Suhartoyo, on Thursday, June 6, 2024 in the plenary courtroom.

“[The Court] grants the Petitioner’s petition in part, declares the disqualification of Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra as a candidate for the Tarakan City Regional Legislative Council in Electoral District of Tarakan City 1, orders the General Elections Commission (KPU), in casu Tarakan City General Elections Commission to conduct a re-voting for only 1 (one) type of ballot, namely the ballot of the Regency/City Regional Legislative Council in the election of candidates for the Tarakan City Regional Legislative Council in Electoral District of Tarakan City 1 without including Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra,” said Chief Justice Suhartoyo alongside the other eight constitutional justices.

In its legal considerations, delivered by Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih, the Court asserted that the purpose of holding elections is to present leaders and representatives who are clean, honest, have integrity, and not tainted. To achieve this, legislative candidates who have been convicted must have passed a period of 5 (five) years after completing their prison sentences to make adjustment (adaptation) within society to prove that they have genuinely transformed for the better and will not repeat their offenses.

Therefore, according to the Court, the existence of this 5 (five)-year period also provides an opportunity for voters to critically assess legislative candidates they will choose, allowing both their strengths and weaknesses to be known to the general public (notoir feiten). Thus, legislative candidates who have completed their prison sentences based on the verdict are required to wait or undergo a hiatus period of 5 (five) years after no longer being convicted to be able to register as a legislative candidate.

The Court found legal fact that Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra had not yet completed the 5 (five)-year hiatus period at the time of registering as a candidate for the Tarakan City DPRD, in Tarakan 1, because the hiatus period only ended after May 2024. Thus, his registration was not in accordance with the provisions of Article 240 paragraph (1) letter g of the Election Law as interpreted by the Court through Decision No. 87/PUU-XX/2022 dated November 30, 2022, and Article 12 paragraph (1) letter b No. 11, 12, and 13 of the General Elections Commission Regulation (PKPU) No. 10 of 2023.

According to the Court's considerations, a legislative candidate must maintain the completeness of other requirements, including being honest or transparent in announcing their background as former prisoners as regulated in Article 240 paragraph (1) letter g of the Election Law as interpreted by the Court through Decision No. 87/PUU-XX/2022. With regard to this provision, when connected with the legal facts obtained by the Court from the evidence submitted during the hearing, at the time of submitting the requirement documents for the Tarakan City DPRD member, Erick did not submit a document in the form of the Samarinda State Court Decision No. 207/Pid.B/2019/PN Smr dated May 23, 2019, to the Respondent as part of the requirement document.

In other words, according to the Court, Erick did not honestly or openly announce to the public his background as a former prisoner based on the Samarinda State Court Decision No. 207/Pid.B/2019/PN.

In addition, the Court opined that Erick does not qualify as a candidate for Tarakan City DPRD in Tarakan 1 because he has been proven to have committed a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment of more than 5 (five) years and has not fulfilled the provisions of a 5 (five) year hiatus after completing the criminal period, and he has not honestly or openly announced to the public about his background as a former prisoners. Therefore, he must be declared no longer eligible as a candidate for the Tarakan City DPRD in Tarakan 1, so he must be disqualified from the Tarakan City DPRD election.

Furthermore, the Court said that the disqualification of Erick as a candidate, while his vote acquisition has the potential to become one of the elected candidates, does not mean that the candidate whose vote acquisition is in the next order can immediately replace Erick’s ranking position, considering that the vote acquisition (which showed voter support) to Erick for the Tarakan City DPRD election in Tarakan 1 was in another legislative candidate.

With such considerations, if Erick, as a legislative candidate whose has the potential to be declared as one of the elected candidates but later disqualified, then to respect and protect the constitutional rights of voters who have cast their votes for Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra, and to reaffirm the legitimacy or support of the people for the candidate who will eventually be elected and become a member of the Tarakan City DPRD in Tarakan 1, the Court believes that a re-vote should be conducted only for 1 (one) type of ballot, namely the Regency/City DPRD Ballot for the Tarakan City DPRD in Tarakan 1 by excluding Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra.

Also read:

PPP Alleges Golkar Candidate in Tarakan Tengah 1 District Fails Legal Requirements

KPU: No Public Response on Erick Hendrawan’s Candidacy Announcement

PPP’s Expert: Failure to Meet Requirements Warrants Cancellation

At the preliminary hearing, the Petitioner alleged Golkar legislative candidate Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra had committed administrative electoral violations, which was stated in the Tarakan City Bawaslu Decree No. 002/LP/ADM.PL/BWSL/KOTA/24.01/III/2024 dated March 19, 2024. The decree also states that he did not meet the requirements as a permanent candidate member of the Tarakan City DPRD for Tarakan 1 in the 2024 election. The Petitioner stressed that the Respondent (KPU) did not consider and enforce the Bawaslu decree by issuing the Tarakan City KPU Decree No. 87 of 2024.

Based on the arguments presented, the Petitioner requested the Court to grant its petition by annulling the KPU Decree No. 360 of 2024, order to declare that legislative candidate Erick Hendrawan Septian Putra from Central Tarakan Subdistrict I, Tarakan City, ineligible. Therefore, the Respondent must declare Erick’s 2,335 votes invalid. Additionally, the Petitioner requests the Court to order the Respondent to declare the Petitioner the elected legislative candidate from that electoral district with a total of 2,289 votes.

Author            : Adam Ilyas
Editor              : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR                     : Tiara Agustina

Translator     : Putri Ratnasari/Fuad Subhan

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, June 06, 2024 | 17:46 WIB 27