The Jakarta Post
Former law and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra has urged judges at the Constitutional Court to reject the judicial review filed by Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who wants to revise the leave requirement for incumbent regional heads seeking reelection.
“The leave requirement during a campaign period as stated in the Regional Elections Law is there to maintain fairness between incumbent regional leaders and their challengers in regional elections,” said Yusril when speaking at a court hearing in Jakarta on Thursday.
Incumbent regional heads—governors, mayors and regents—had various powers like financial and bureaucratic authorities that could be misused if they did not take leave during the election campaign, he said.
“Taking leave, as stipulated in the law, is a must. There is no other interpretation of the rule,” said Yusril, who is seeking political support to be able to run in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Similar opinion was expressed by Gerindra Party politician Habiburokhman, who challenged Ahok’s argument that taking leave was a right not an obligation. Previously, Ahok said he would not campaign as he wanted to prepare the city budget bill.
“Even if an incumbent doesn’t campaign, they still have a big opportunity to use their position to influence people,” said Habiburokhman.
He also said incumbent regional heads were able to appear in the media more frequently because of their positions and that would be unfair for non-incumbent candidates. (wnd/bbn)
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