The Constitutional Court should be independent in determining the presidential threshold

Effendi Gazali
Political communication expert Effendi Gazali. Photo: wikipedia

IO – Political communications expert Effendi Gazali expects the Constitutional Court to remain an independent institution, particularly in terms of examining and determining the presidential threshold. According to Election Law No. 7/2017, the presidential threshold is 20%. “I have high hopes that the Constitutional Court can remain independent in carrying out a judicial review to examine the Election Law against the Constitution,” stated Effendi. 

Effendi referred to the experiences of other countries, where changes to the laws being examined in the House of Representatives and the Constitutional Court can only be made if two things occur. The first is a teleological factor or philosophical study, and the second is if the oligarchy disintegrates. “The first is teleology, an approach explaining that every event and purpose has good traits that will be understood in time, and the second point is if the oligarchy breaks up. Only in those contexts can changes occur, whether (the laws) are tested in the House or the Constitutional Court,” he said. 

Effendi is confident that the nomination of presidential candidates will determine the electability of political parties. A new president must be nominated in 2024 because President Joko Widodo is already in his second term of service. However, he questioned whether a new law would emerge after undergoing a hard and long fight in the Constitutional Court. 

When Effendi and a number of figures examined the material about simultaneous legislative and presidential elections, he filed a lawsuit on January 10, 2013. According to Mahfud MD, who at that time was the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, the decision was already made in March 2013 but only announced on January 24, 2014. As a result, the Court decided that simultaneous elections could not be held in 2014 but 2019. “If, for example, an electoral lawsuit to eliminate a presidential (threshold for the upcoming election) takes a great deal of time, then our supposition about electability will go to waste. Electability here means the voters’ disposition to choose certain figures if the election is held at this time,” said Effendi. (des)