House to Allow Prisoners under Probation to Run for Governor

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 , 14:00:00 WIB - Politics

Members of the General Elections Commission (KPU) Ida Budianti (left), Arief Budiman (second left), Hadar Hafis Gumay (second right) and Sigit Pamungkas (right) are seen in at the sidelines of an internal meeting, Jakarta, Tuesday (13/9). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The House of Representatives Commission II, the General Elections Commission (KPU), the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the Minister of Internal Affairs are discussing the possibility of allowing prisoners under probation to run in the Regional Elections 2017, causing some worry among the public.

The Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) researcher Fadli Ramadhan said the policy would violate Article 2 verse 7 of The Law on Regional Elections (UU Pilkada), which stipulates only ex-convicts can run in regional elections.

"As long as he or she is a prisoner, there’s no chance of participating," he said.

Fadli hopes KPU can stand firm and reject the bill and file a judicial review if it is passed. We hope KPU is bold enough to file a judicial review in order to assure clean regional elections, he said.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives Commission II Vice Chairman, Lukman Edy, said the bill will be further discussed as the parliament wants to expand the bill’s coverage to not only allow prisoners under probation to run in regional elections.

Shouldn’t people being punished for violating traffic regulations or convicts who were merely fined be able to participate? he said, Tuesday (13/9).

Lukman added that his commission had sought advice from experts, who stated that prisoners who received a light sentence should still be entitled to their full political rights, unless it is revoked through a judge ruling.

Universitas Padjadjaran professor on criminal law Romli Atmasasmita, for instance, supports the bill, saying that it would be a problem for prisoners under probation to run in regional elections, he quoted the law that states prisoners who have served five years in prison would receive their rights to vote and be voted while people who committed a small crime would be punished less than five years.

However, he says, there is an exception for prisoners who committed a serious crime, such as corruption, terrorism, illegal distribution of narcotics and robbery.

The public is smart now. They will know who they should vote, he said.