Members of the Association of Professors on Constitutional and Administrative Law (APHTN-HAN) state that Indonesia is currently experiencing a political anomaly. For example, the Special Committee for the new Elections Law Bill often proposes ideas that are not compatible with principles of constitutional law. One of those ideas is the proposal to allow members of Local Parliament (DPRD) to assess the advisability of candidates for the Lower-House of the Parliament (DPD).
“We do not want this country to be treated as a playground by political speculators. We demand the government to do something about this,” says the Dean of the Faculty of Law of Esa Unggul University, Wasis Susetio, in Jakarta (05/09).
The Chairperson of APHTN-HAN, Bivitri Susanti, says the alteration in the selection process of DPD members by DPRD members may result in huge consequences. Such alteration is violating the Constitution and election laws.
“Members of DPRD come from political party, while DPD members are independent. There will be many conflict of interests if we let DPRD members to assess DPD members,” says Bivitri.
The Executive Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Titi Anggraini, says that the idea was first proposed by members of the Special Committee for the new Elections Laws Bill in a closed-meeting.
“The idea was first proposed during a closed-meeting among members of the Special Committee,” says Titi.
Titi explains that the idea to let DPRD members to assess DPD candidates has many problems in many aspects. First, it’s unconstitutional. Article 22 e of the Constitution clearly states that member of DPD is elected through election process. The idea would also undermine the role of the Election Commission (KPU) as the legitimate election management body which is responsible in running elections.
Secondly, the idea will delegitimize DPD as the lower-house of the Parliament. By allowing DPRD members to select DPD members, the government implies that DPD is an institution below DPRD and head of executive. Constitutionally, DPD is a legislative institution of national-level.
Thirdly, the idea has a technicality problem. The 2019 National Elections will be held as concurrent elections. Therefore, the legislative and presidential elections will be held on the same day. If the election for DPD members should be canceled out because members of DPD is selected by DPRD members, then the whole elections process will be disrupted.
“Moreover, we cannot ask the Election Monitoring Body (Bawaslu) to handle any dispute regarding the selection process because DPRD is not a legitimate EMB. We can only resolve any electoral dispute if the election is organized by KPU,” says Titi.