Elections Bill must not only encompass 2024 interests

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Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee II Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Before the Bill of Elections is ready to be brought to the Plenary Meeting of Parliament, the House of Representatives Committee II Working Committee held a Public Hearing with experts in attendance. Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee II Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung noted that the 2020 simultaneous election is already running. The rules are already prepared and agreed upon by level I with Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Law and Human Rights, ready to be brought to the Plenary. 

Member of Working Committee of House of Representatives Committee II Hanan A. Rozak referred to the entire article which will be designed in the Bill of Elections, emphasizing that it should remain guided by and based on the 1945 Constitution. “The 1945 Constitution stated the use of the term ‘Election’ was only for the election of members of DPR, DPD, and the President; while Regents, Mayors, and Governors are elected democratically. Also, the 1945 Constitution clearly stated the Presidential candidates were nominated by the party in the previous Election. This is clearly stated in the 1945 Constitution. Therefore, we cannot whip up other regulations. So, everything that will be designed must adhere to the 1945 Constitution,” stressed Hanan. 

The Golkar Party politician said regarding other proposals for the discourse of national and local elections related to the election of Governors, Regents and Mayors, they must also adhere to the terms specified in the 1945 Constitution, that is, democratically elected. “Well, this needs further clarification, whether this democratic election means directly elected or chosen in other ways,” he continued. 

Threshold 

Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) Researcher Siti Zuhro asked the House of Representatives to carefully reconsider the amount of parliamentary and presidential thresholds in revising the Election Law No. 7 of 2017. Siti stated the bill should not only accommodate short-term interests for 2024. “If the revision of the Election Law does not bring long-term benefits, the whole vision will not change anything except to cover the interests for a moment in 2024; thus, we can be sure the prospect of Indonesia’s democracy will be further complicated,” Siti conveyed. 

In addition, she asked the House of Representatives to pay attention to the impact of the parliamentary threshold on institutional and party participation in the coming elections, if there is a revision in the Act. “Please consider whether 4 percent, 5 percent, or 7 percent, what would be the impact on party institutions on the party’s participation in the election afterward,” she said. 

Furthermore, she continued, the House of Representatives could prepare a simulation to determine the presidential threshold. The current presidential threshold is 20 percent. She hoped all decisions regulated in the Election Bill are intended to benefit the public interest. “I suggest the Committee II try to make a careful simulation, contingent on what has already been applied in the 2019 Elections and if it can be carried out and yield benefits. If only half of it can be carried out, is it possible for competition and contestation, and other candidates to emerge?” she added. 

Related to whether the election will be based on an open or closed proportional system, she stressed that all choices made by the Parliament and the government have consequences. According to her, strengthening the political party system must be the main goal in this matter. “If it is closed, there are logical consequences: positive and negative impacts, as well as open or semi-open. So, whether we will implement the closed or semi-open system again; what matters is what the benefits are actually,” she said. 

Health Protocol 

Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung reminded all that the implementation and adherence to health protocols is the key to the success of the simultaneous Regional Election, which will be held on 9 December 2020. 

The Golkar Party politician said the problem that must be prepared by the current election organizers is the implementation of health protocols in the elections, which also requires participation from all elements of society. The success of the local election is not only a matter of the organizers but also a matter of the community. “Health equipment tools have been prepared, so the COVID-19 health protocol is ready, the challenge is to properly implement it,” continued Doli. 

The North Sumatra electoral legislator also emphasized that another thing that needed attention was the discipline of the community, which should be a concern for all parties. “The second aspect that must be considered is the level of discipline of our society. We need the habit of washing hands, using hand sanitizer, checking body temperature. I think that could be a big asset for the success of simultaneous local elections,” she concluded. Not only the health protocol but Doli also emphasized maintaining the value of democracy in the elections; maintaining the level of participation and emphasizing massive socialization. (Dan)