Debates Still Surround Election Vote Difference Threshold

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 , 11:45:00 WIB - Law

A Constitutional Court employee is seen attending to a customer, Jakarta, Friday (24/2). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – Debates surrounding vote difference thresholds have reemerged following the Constitutional Court’s ruling to continue to keep Law No.10/2016’s regulation on the required minimum vote difference for candidates to file a legal claim to challenge the results of a regional election.

According to said law’s article 158, candidates may file a legal claim to the Constitutional Court only once the following requirements are met:

Provincial Elections

1. Maximum vote difference of 2 percent for provinces with less than 2 million population.

2. Maximum vote difference of 1.5 percent for provinces with 2 million -6 million population.

3. Maximum vote difference of 1 percent for provinces with 6 million - 126 million population.

4. Maximum vote difference of 0.5 percent for provinces with over 12 million population.

Regencies/Municipalities:

1. Maximum vote difference of 2 percent for regencies/municipalities with less than 250,000 population.

2. Maximum vote difference of 1.5 percent for regencies/municipalities with 250,000-500,000 population.

3. Maximum vote difference of 1 percent for regencies/municipalities with 500,000-1 million population.

4. Maximum vote difference of 0.5 percent for regencies/municipalities with over 1 million population.

The thresholds have been subject to a lot of public criticism. State administration law expert Refly Harun, for instance, said the Constitutional Court should focus on the facts in the field.
In agreement, Independent Committee of Elections Observers (KIPP) Secretary General Kaka Suminta said the Constitutional Court should not have merely considered the legal aspects in making the ruling.

KIPP said there were numerous indications of unfair practices in previous provincial, regency and municipal elections.

"The many unfair practices can’t be denied. Some of the unfair practices may be ‘structured,' systematical and conducted on a massive scale. There were also issues on abuse of voters data, and abuse of power and government facilities. Most of the complaints regard money politics, which cannot be reduced with Article 158 of Law no.10/2016," said Kaka, in a written statement to gres.news, Monday (12/3).

CHANGE INSTITUTION – Over the long time needed to settle regional election disputes, Constitutional Court Chairman, Arief Hidayat, and Supreme Court Chairman, Hatta Ali, suggest the establishment of a new court for regional election disputes.

"We have been saying that regional election disputes do not fall into the authority of the Constitutional Court. There must be a special institution for that. This has been emphasized through a Constitutional Court ruling," Arief said to gres.news, Jakarta, Thursday (9/3).

"Rulings from the special court would be legally binding.

Rulings from Supreme Courts can be subject to appeals," Hatta said. (dtc).

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