IO, Jakarta – Nearing the 2020 simultaneous Regional Elections, the Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) and the Elections Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”) are urging the Government to revise Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning Regional Elections. Bawaslu’s Chairman, Abhan, stated that KPU does not prohibit former corruptors to put themselves up for candidacy in the 2020 simultaneous Regional Elections. After all, the prohibition can be overridden if the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) revises Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning Regional Elections. “We believe that this is something that we need to push for in the Parliament, in order to get the issue normalized as law. There are only two ways to revoke political rights, either by court judgment or by setting it as a law. Yes, we need to normalize this in the letter of the law. Yes, we are pushing the politicians in Senayan now to do this,” Abhan stated during a National Seminar of the Indonesian Political Sciences Association themed “Evaluation of the 2019 Simultaneous Elections” held at Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday (10/12/2019).
Abhan reiterates that the regulation only prohibits two types of people from participating in Regional Elections: “Only two types of criminals are prohibited from candidacy, drug dealers and those who perpetrated crimes against children. It does not prohibit former corruptors from candidacy. And this can only be reversed with limited revision of Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning Regional Elections, which is only possible if members of the DPR are ready for it.”
Abhan further stated that other issues in Law Number 10 of 2016 that can be revised include e-summary of votes, candidacy requirements, etc. KPU is currently urging the use of an e-summary in the 2020 Regional Elections. The e-summary system will make administrative work easier and reduce the time used in summarizing vote counts. However, the system must be rationalized by law for the sake of legal certainty. “This will help ease administrative responsibility among Polling Station Working Committee (Kelompok Penyelenggara Pemungutan Suara – “KPPS”) officials, some of whom have actually died from overwork in the latest Elections, due to massive administrative burdens,” he said.
Abhan further stated that direct use of e-summary can cause legal issues later on, as there are no laws regulating its use. It would be easy for anyone to put charges of illegality against KPU because of e-summary use. Therefore, Bawaslu deems it necessary for it to be regulated properly by law, to ensure legal certainty when Elections are digitized.
Abhan also states that the sanctions for administrative violations should be stronger than that for criminal violations in the elections. Imposing administrative sanctions takes less time than when imposing criminal sanctions, as public prosecutors and the police are also involved in criminal cases. It would be better for the Government to allow wider authority to Bawaslu in order to reduce the time used for processing criminal cases using a single command. “We (Bawaslu) require the authority to assess cases and impose administrative sanctions instead of wasting time by involving the police and the public prosecutors for a long-winded criminal case procedure,” he said.
The single-command initiative would also reduce the Supreme Court’s workload, as Bawaslu can deal with petty cases by itself in the first instance. Abhan recalled that the number of electoral disputes settled by the Supreme Court in 2019 is much lower than that in 2014. “When we exercised our authority to mitigate administrative issues during the Elections, we reduced the number of voting result disputes submitted to the Supreme Court. There were 14 electoral participants in 2014, and there were more than 900 disputes submitted to the Supreme Court. There were 16 political parties in the 2019 elections, there are many electoral regions, but the Supreme Court handled only 300 disputes or so. This is because Bawaslu resolved some of the disputes using its administrative authority,” he said. (dan)