Chairman of National Mandate Party: “Electoral Laws need not be revised yet..”

National Mandate Party (PAN) General Chairman Zulkifli Hasan. (Photo: Antara)

IO – The National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional – “PAN”) rejects the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) plans to revise again the Electoral Laws as part of the 2021 National Legislation Program (Program Legislasi Nasional – “Prolegnas”). The DPR’s Legislation Committee (BadanLegislatif– “Baleg”) has validated at least 33 Draft Laws. However, the Prolegnas is not yet been finalized in DPR’s Plenary Meeting.

PAN’s General Chairman Zulkifli Hasan (commonly known as Zulhas) believes that the current version of the law is still adequate. Therefore, discussions about the Electoral Draft Laws can be delayed. “The National Mandate Party opines that it is not yet time to revise this Law. The current version of the Law is relatively newly-created and is only formally-implemented in the past 4-5 years,” he said during a DPR PAN Faction themed “Does the Electoral Law Need to be Revised” held in the Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Monday (25/01/2021).

Zulhas claimed that he has been following the development of this particular Law intensely, and that the PAN Faction maintains its position. “PAN Faction’s opinion was based on my intense monitoring of the Law for months. We have agreed that Electoral Law can still be used for three to four elections. Look, we still have Mr. Jokowi, we still have the same Government, then we go on with this argument about changing it again! Therefore, we at PAN agree that this Law is still viable, still adequate. We suggest that the Electoral Law can still be used in two, three, four more elections,” he said.

Zulhas went on to say that neither creating nor revising a Law is an easy thing. Lawmakers must harmonize various interests: “There are many interests that must be accommodated by any Law, including the interests of political parties, the Central Government and Regional Governments, electoral organizers, and civil society. Revising any existing Law does not guarantee that the new Law will work better than the current version. In this context, PAN urges that we all focus on recovering our national unity, which was badly broken during our latest Presidential Elections. We must all believe that unity is our primary capital for further advancing Indonesia into the future,” he said.

Zulhas believes that our top priorities should be COVID-19 mitigation and national economic recovery, and it would be better for DPR to cooperate with others in resolving these issues. “The National Mandate Party considers COVID-19 mitigation, both in terms of cutting off the virus’ infectious chain and in terms of reviving the national economy, to be the primary focus for all sons and daughters of our nation. Therefore, wouldn’t it be best if we direct the energies of both the DPR and the Government towards these purposes?” he said.

Earlier, Election and Democracy Forum (Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi – “Perludem”) Researcher Heroik Pratama stated that the revision of the Electoral Law is necessary, “As the relations between the three electoral organizers, i.e. the Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”), the Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”), and the Electoral Ethical Council (Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilihan Umum – “DKPP”) are not harmonious. They should prioritize ways to encourage elections that are high quality, democratic, and based on integrity, but these institutions tend to become busy with petty issues between each other,” he complained during a discussion held on Sunday (24/01/2021). (Dan)