Lack of Campaign Restrictions for State Officials Questioned

Ahmad Farisi and A. Fahrur Rozi (Petitioners) conveying the petition’s subject matter at the preliminary hearing of the material judicial review of the Pilkada Law, Friday (7/5/2024). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Ahmad Farisi, a researcher, and A. Fahrur Rozi, a constitutional law student at UIN (State Islamic University) Syarif Hidayatullah of Jakarta, are challenging Article 70 paragraph (2) 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) against the 1945 Constitution to the Constitutional Court.

The preliminary hearing for case No. 52/PUU-XXII/2024, presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra and Constitutional Justices Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh and Ridwan Mansyur, took place in the plenary courtroom on Friday, July 8, 2024. The Petitioners asserted that they have the right to the implementation of a regional election (pilkada) that is honest, democratic, has legal certainty, and is free from any conflict of interest. However, the article being petitioned allows for the monopoly of power and nepotism by active regional heads and other state officials. Therefore, they request that the Court mandate regional heads and other state officials to take a leave of absence while engaging in a campaign.

“In essence, the a quo article does not restrict access to power and the use of state facilities for state officials during political campaigns. This has likely allowed the monopoly of authority and facilities of power for the benefit of certain candidates, which causes the implementation of Pilkada not to be fair, democratic, nor free from all forms of collusion and nepotism practices,” Farisi explained in person.

In addition, the Petitioners believe the article has caused a lack of any restriction on power and facilities, which is always inherent in any public office. The use of such power and facilities might lend to higher electability. There has been no provision so far that prohibits governors, regents, mayors, and their deputies, as well as local officials and other officials from engaging in political campaign for regional election candidates who they are related to by consanguinity or by marriage up to the third degree or by marital relations despite a divorce, thus allowing for nepotism in the regional election.

Therefore, the Petitioners asked the Court to interpret the a quo article as, “Governor and Vice Governor, Regent and Vice Regent, Mayor and Vice Mayor, other state officials, and local officials shall be able to engage in a political campaign by: a. not using any state facilities awarded to the position, except for security details for a state official in accordance with provisions of applicable law; b. being on unpaid leave; and c. not being related by consanguinity or by marriage up to the third degree or, or having a marital relationship, even after divorce, with the candidate pair, and not having the potential for conflicts of interest with their respective duties, powers, and rights.”

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Ridwan Mansyur advised that the Petitioners’ qualification as voters must be elaborated in relation to their constitutional impairment. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra advised them to clarify their legal standing as researcher, university student, and voters.

“Please attach proof as voters. Explain your constitutional impairment as voters if the norm is not interpreted as requested. In addition, there is not yet any explanation to the touchstone on why the a quo article is against the principle of democracy. So, do not only mention it; [also explain] the reasoning too,” he said.

At the end of the hearing, the panel gave the Petitioners 14 days to revise the petition.

Author              : Sri Pujianti
Editor               : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR                   : Raisa Ayuditha
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.

Friday, July 05, 2024 | 12:10 WIB 22