Gerindra rejects revisions to Electoral Law

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Gerindra Party’s General Secretary, Ahmad Muzani. (Photo: Gerindra Doc.)

IO – The Indonesian House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia – “DPR RI”) is hard at work to create an Electoral Law that sets the schedule for Regional Head Elections in 2022 and 2023. The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party suggests that Simultaneous Regional Elections should still be held in 2024 in accordance with the provisions of Electoral Law of 2017. “Gerindra Party feels that consistency in Elections is a superior democratic pattern that we all should commit to. Gerindra believes that Electoral Law Number 7 of 2017, which based the Elections in 2019, should be maintained,” said Gerindra’s General Secretary, Ahmad Muzani, in a written statement on Sunday (31/01/2021). 

Gerindra requests electoral organizers and monitors, i.e. the Elections Commissions (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”), Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”), and Electoral Ethical Council (Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilihan Umum – “DKPP”) to synergize and resolve the issues that tend to occur during Elections. “We can start preparing for the 2024 Elections from right now. This will improve the quality of our democracy, as we want to avoid the negative excesses of the Elections such as money politics. This is something we should all be aware of. Therefore, Gerindra requests that Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning the Elections should be kept as the legal basis for holding the Legislative and Presidential Elections in 2024. We feel that if this commitment is something that all parties have the same perspective on, the quality of our Elections and the quality of our democracy will improve,” Muzani said. 

Muzani went on to say that since the 1999 Reforms, Indonesia constantly changed its electoral system – to be exact, once every five years, after each Election. These changes include the voting system used, the increase in electoral thresholds, whether the Elections is being held open or closed, the formula for converting votes into seats, and the increase in the number of electoral regions. “Such changes make our Elections inconsistent and we cannot improve the quality because we keep on changing the system. Political parties have always had to adjust to new Laws once every five years,” he said. 

Earlier, the Functional Groups (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party stance is: It also wants Regional Elections still to be held in 2024. “It is highly rational and reasonable that some people prefer that the Electoral Law is no longer revised, as the new Law is only validated late in the previous term in 2017. In other words, we cannot tell yet whether this new Electoral Law is workable or not, as we have yet to hold Simultaneous Elections in 2024 as per that Law,” said Golkar’s Chairman of Electoral Division Maman Abdurahman. 

The Minister of Home Affairs holds the same view. He said that Simultaneous Regional Elections should still be held in 2024 in accordance with the mandate of Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning the Elections of Governors/Vice Governors, Regents/Vice Regents, Mayors/ and Vice Mayors, which amended Law Number 1 of 2015. 

Law Number 1 of 2015 Article 201 Paragraph 5 states that “Simultaneous Elections for electing Governors, Regents, and Mayors throughout the Integrated Republican Nation of Indonesia shall be held on the same day and the same month in 2020.” This provision was then revised in Article 201 Paragraph 8 of Law Number 10 of 2016 to “Simultaneous Elections for electing Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, Mayors and Vice Mayors throughout the territory of the Integrated Republican Nation of Indonesia shall be held in November 2024.” 

“Therefore, Regional Head Elections should still be held in accordance with existing Laws, i.e. simultaneously throughout Indonesia in 2024,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Director General of General Politics and Government, Bahtiar, in a meeting held in the Office of KPU RI, Central Jakarta in response to the suggestion that Electoral Laws be revised. “The Law should be implemented first. Later, after it is implemented in 2024, we evaluate it. It is the results of this evaluation that determines whether Law Number 10 of 2016 should be revised again or not. The important thing is to implement it first.” 

Bahtiar further confirms that the Ministry of Home Affairs stance towards the plan for revision is to continue implementing the existing Law, i.e. Law Number 10 of 2016 Article 201 Paragraph 8. Furthermore, “Our primary focus for now is how to mitigate the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from health issues to socio-economic impacts, as quickly as possible. Alhamdulillah, praised be Allah, we now have the vaccine for the disease. Again, our priority is to save our people, our citizens. Naturally, priorities must be set,” he said. (des)