National

Bawaslu allows PKPI to
contest elections

Second chance: In this 2012 photo, Papuan supporters of the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) hold a rally in Central Jakarta after registering the party to join the 2014 election. The Elections Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu) announced late on Tuesday that the party could indeed run in the election, annulling a previous General Elections Commission (KPU) decision to have the party disqualified. JP/P.J. Leo
Second chance: In this 2012 photo, Papuan supporters of the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) hold a rally in Central Jakarta after registering the party to join the 2014 election. The Elections Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu) announced late on Tuesday that the party could indeed run in the election, annulling a previous General Elections Commission (KPU) decision to have the party disqualified. JP/P.J. Leo

The Elections Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu) has overturned a General Elections Commission (KPU) decision to declare the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI) ineligible to participate in the 2014 legislative election.

“During the adjudication hearings, the KPU failed to defend some of the findings it had used to support its decision to declare the PKPI ineligible [to contest the election]. On the other hand, the party managed to deliver evidence and witnesses supporting its claim that it had fulfilled all the requirements set out by law,” Bawaslu chairman Muhammad said on Wednesday.

PKPI chairman Sutiyoso said he welcomed the Bawaslu’s ruling. “I hope this can be a lesson for all of us, including the KPU, because the commission’s careless verification could be costly for a political party that is eligible for the election,” he told a press conference.

The KPU, however, refused to immediately declare the PKPI a contestant in the 2014 election.

The two-election organizing bodies were apparently at odds in interpreting the 2012 Legislative Elections Law.

While Muhammad insisted that the KPU obey the body’s ruling, KPU commissioner Hadar Navis Gumay said that the Bawaslu decision was not final and binding, thus it was not mandatory for the KPU to immediately adopt the Bawaslu
ruling.

“It would be better for us to study the ruling first. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive the document from Bawaslu,” Hadar told The Jakarta Post.

Bawaslu officials, however, begged to differ. According to Muhammad, the 2012 law only facilitates respective political parties to challenge the Bawaslu’s ruling by bringing their case to the State Administrative High Court (PTTUN), while the KPU is not entitled to such a right.

“The law does not stipulate that the KPU can appeal our ruling. So, should the Bawaslu approve a challenge by a political party, it is binding,” he said.

As of Wednesday, the PKPI was the only political party previously ruled out by the KPU, but then declared eligible by the Bawaslu.

The KPU announced last month that 10 political parties were eligible to contest the 2014 legislative election, while 18 other parties were declared ineligible due to their failures to meet requirements set out by the 2012 law on legislative elections.

Only 15 out of 18 parties, however, filed objections with the Bawaslu to challenge the KPU’s decision.

Bawaslu concluded hearings on 13 out of the 15 parties. Except for the PKPI’s successful appeal, the appeals of another 12 parties were rejected. Among them are the Crescent Star Party (PBB), the National Care for People Party (PPRN), and the Union of Independent People (SRI) Party.

The remaining two parties, the fates of which are yet to be decided by Bawaslu, are the National Unity Party (PPN) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The PBB and the SRI have said they would file appeals with the Jakarta PTTUN to challenge the KPU’s decision, which rules them out of 2014’s election contests.

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