July 18, 2024

Bivitri Susanti: Law often becomes a Tool of Political Fear

Bivitri Susanti, a Constitutional Law expert from Jentera Law School (STH), views that currently, the law in Indonesia is often used as a tool to intimidate the public, especially during the electoral process. Therefore, she believes the government should ensure the neutrality of Civil Servants (ASN) through safe channel for reporting irregularities for every complainant.”

“What we need now is clarity; neutrality should not only be spoken but demonstrated through concrete, structural policies and actions,” said Bivitri during a discussion titled “Jalan Sesat Meraih Kekuasaan: ASN, TNI-Polri Pura-Pura Netral? [The Misleading Path to Power: Civil Servants, TNI-Polri Pretend to be Neutral?]”in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on January 14th.

Bivitri explained that, based on electoral laws, the Election Supervisory Body (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum or Bawaslu) can only impose sanctions on election participants, while the neutrality of Civil Servants (ASN) is regulated in the legal rules of each institution. However, she observed that currently, the law is often used as a tool of political fear by certain parties. Despite this, the impact extends to prolonged electoral disputes, as after the election, there are disputes over the election results in the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi or MK). In that process, the MK only checks election violations that are structured, systematic, and massive (TSM).

“So, if you see any irregularities, record and report them immediately, without waiting for the election results. Because whoever wins, if there are too many irregularities, it means the election lacks legitimacy,” she explained.

However, according to Bivitri, the essence of politics in elections is its legitimacy. She also reminded people to continue monitoring the government because after the electoral process is completed until the new president is inaugurated on October 20, there is a governance gap during the transition period (Lame Duck). During this time, the government should not make policies that would impact the country significantly.

“So, there will be many legal events that will occur between June and October. There will be subsequent disputes using all means,” she said.

The significant impact of many unclear legal aspects, according to Bivitri, is the creation of a fragile government. Therefore, she encouraged the public to directly monitor the electoral process through election monitoring platforms provided by civil society.

“So, we have those recordings to be able to show any irregularities that may arise,” concluded Bivitri. []


Translated by Catherine Natalia