Jakarta, IO – The Supreme Court (MA) restricted the ability of former corruption convicts to run as legislative election candidates less than five years after it reviewed the petitions filed by a number of parties, including the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), and two former KPK chairmen Saut Situmorang and Abraham Samad.
It ordered the General Elections Commission (KPU) to revoke two articles — Article 11(6) and Article 18(2) — from its regulations PKPU 10/2023 and PKPU 11/2023 which allow this, per Katadata Monday (2/10).
In its decision, MA ruled that the two articles were contrary to the Election Law which was upheld by the Constitutional Court (MK) stipulating that ex-corruption convicts must wait for five years after serving their jail terms before they can run again as legislative candidates. This rule was ignored in the PKPUs.
MA considered that a period of five years is needed for the ex-convicts to introspect and reintegrate with society. Additionally, members of the public need sufficient time to assess their behavior critically.
According to MA, additional punishment in the form of revocation of political rights is an additional deterrent effect. MA was of the view that KPU should set more stringent requirements considering that corruption is an extraordinary crime.
Furthermore, MA decided that the two articles do not have binding legal force and cannot be apllied generally because they conflict with higher pieces of legislation.
Meanwhile, KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri appreciated the ruling, saying that it was in line with the spirit to uproot corruption and expected it to have a deterrent effect. “Punishment for corruption offenders must be a serious one so it can act as a deterrent,” said Ali. (un)