Corruptors should be banned from ever running again

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(photo: IO/Yoga*)

IO, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) supports the plan to prohibit former convicted corruptors from running for any position in the 2020 Regional Head Elections. Coordinator of ICW’s Political Corruption Division Donal Fariz said that the prohibition should be enforced using a Government Regulation in lieu of a law (Peraturan Pemerintah Pengganti Undang-undang – “Perppu”), or by revising the Regional Head Elections Law. “We need such strong legal instruments, or we should at least revise existing Regional Head Elections Laws, to ban the regional candidacy of these former convicts,” Donal said when we met him in Cikini, Jakarta, on Tuesday (30/7/2019).

Donal stated that the prohibition is an urgent one, as not many judges dare to revoke the political rights of a corruptor. The prohibition should be expressed in a specific law or regulation since the Supreme Court revokes the Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”)’s Regulation that prohibits former corruption convicts from offering themselves for candidacy in the Legislative. “As there is still plenty of time, we might either create laws or revise the articles concerning candidacy requirements. If creating new laws or revising existing laws is politically a challenge, instead we can implement a Perpp,” said Donal.

Meanwhile, Elections Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) Member Mochammad Afifuddin said that we need a breakthrough. If this provision is only expressed in an agency regulation such as the Election Commission Regulation (Peraturan Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “PKPU”), it is highly likely that it would be appealed to the Supreme Court, like the revoked PKPU Number 20 of 2018 that regulated the Candidacy for Membership in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”), Provincial Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”), and Regency/Municipal DPRD. “In the last case involving Legislative Candidates, the Supreme Court stated that there is no strong legal basis for this prohibition. Therefore, the PKPU is revoked,” Afif said. “We need strong legislative breakthrough to serve as a basis for stating that corruptors have no political rights in terms of candidacy.”

Afif stated that KPU’s suggestion that we revise the Regional Head Elections Law is a workable alternative. Such a revision should be able to strengthen the authority of derivative laws like PKPU, reducing the likelihood of such regulations being taken to the Supreme Court and debated there. He further stated that the Bawaslu agrees with KPU’s stance to forbid former convicted corruptors from any second chance at candidacy. “Bawaslu really would prefer to never allow convicted corruptors to present themselves as candidates for a position as people’s representatives,” Afif said.

KPU stated that it will return to prohibit former corruptors from registering their candidacy in the 2020 Regional Head elections, so that former corruptors cannot return to the Government and create havoc again. One of the ways KPU suggests is to revise the Regional Head Elections Law. This intent has strengthen after the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) named former Regent of Kudus Muhammad Tamzil as a suspect in a bribery and gratification case relating to the nomination of Regional Staff in the Regency Government of Kudus in 2019. Tamzil was arrested and found guilty in the corruption case relating to the aid for educational structures and facilities for the Regency of Kudus in the 2004 Fiscal Year. After his release in 2015, Tamzil put himself up as candidate for the Regent of Kudus through the 2018 Regional Head Elections and he was re-elected. However, again he has involved himself in another corruption case, which is for the sale and purchase of positions in the Regency Government of Kudus. (dsy)