A timeline of TSM Violations to be presented as evidence to MK

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Said Salahudin, an observer of elections, politics, and statehood. (photo: konfrontasi.com)

IO, Jakarta – The mere 14 days allowed by the Constitutional Court to inspect, evaluate, and resolve the 2019 Election lawsuit request is less than ideal, states Said Salahudin, an observer of elections, politics, and statehood.

“While calendar days do not apply to prearranged days, according to MK’s interpretation of working days, the time given will not be sufficient,” he said.

What’s more, in those 14 days, a trial including three steps will unfold: a preliminary presentation, an assessment, and delivery of a verdict.

The most important of these three is of course the evaluation, added the Senior Political and Constitutional Law Consultant (Postulat), since at the trial every party will have their opportunity to present evidence and contest their legal arguments to determine whether the 2019 Election was fixed.

“The preliminary inspection is only for examining prerequisites and assessing the clarity of a request, or to validate pieces of evidence. When the verdict is handed down, parties are only allowed to sit and listen to the Judge,” he said.

He said that during those 14 days, MK is unlikely to conduct 14 evidentiary trials. The amount will be less than that. Note that at the 2014 Presidential Election PHPU, MK only conducted seven trials from a total of nine.

Not to mention the fact that MK was only focused on the Presidential Election PHPU at that time, unlike today, where they are also preoccupied with Legislative Election PHPU. 

Now, he said, aside from evaluating the Presidential Election PHPU, MK must also conduct trials for hundreds of Legislative Election PHPU disputes as from the outset, MK has already received dispute requests from almost one thousand electoral districts.

“In such a situation, we can imagine how difficult it will be for the MK to schedule and optimize the trial. I believe that the panel system planned for the trial will be ineffective,” said the Director of Society Synergy for Indonesian Democracy (Sigma).

“The effectiveness that I was referring to is related to the quality of the trial. It’s easy to just hold a trial. However, what we are hoping for is that the MK will not simply go through the motions of a so-called trial, but will truthfully expose every problem with the implementation of the Election.

Moreover, he suspects that the hasty trial of Presidential Election PHPU is far from ideal to inspect suspected violations that were organized, systematic, and massive (TSM), as it is proposed by 02 Candidates.  

If the argument is TSM, it means the MK is requested to re-evaluate every Election process, starting with the initial steps, as when systematic violations are accused, for example, it is related to a suspicion of whether there has been a designated scheme engineered to produce a win for a certain candidate with ways that transgress the law.

Not to mention the evaluation of organized violations. They must show which officials, whether they are structural officials, government officials, and/or Election officials, collectively or conjointly awarded a certain Candidate advantages or disadvantages.

“In order to reveal everything, the MK only conducted seven evidentiary trials, such as at the 2014 Presidential Election PHPU, or even fewer; how can that short amount of time can be used optimally by the Pleader, Respondent, Related Parties, the Bawaslu, and other parties to convince the Court?” he said.

Therefore, he believed that it will be worthwhile if the MK would reconsider extending the time to resolve the Presidential Election PHPU, since logically the amount of time needed to examine so many pieces of evidence, witnesses, experts, and other aspects requested by the parties is not ideal.

In order to extend the trial period, so that the evidentiary trial can be conducted a more thoroughly, the only way would be to evaluate the constitutionality of Act No.7/2017 Paragraph 475 article (3), through a quick evaluation at the Constitutional Court.

“Being on the side of a direct interest in the Presidential Election PHPU request, I declare that Prabowo Subianto’s alliance can apply as the Pleader for the evaluation of that particular law, if necessary” said Said Salahudin. (dsy)