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Jakarta Post

Former corruption convicts barred from participating in 2019 election

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 4, 2018   /   02:13 pm
Former corruption convicts barred from participating in 2019 election All set: General Elections Commission (KPU) head Arief Budiman tests the strength of ballot boxes that will be used in the 2019 presidential and legislative elections at the commission's headquarters in Jakarta on Nov. 15, 2016. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The Law and Human Rights Ministry and the General Elections Commission (KPU) have agreed to bar ex-corruption convicts from taking part in the 2019 legislative election.

KPU Regulation No. 20 on legislative and regional council candidates was signed into law by the Law and Human Rights Ministry's law and regulations director general, Widodo Ekatjahjana, on July 3.

“Yes, the regulation has taken effect,” Widodo confirmed on Wednesday.

The regulation stipulates that political parties are not allowed to nominate those who have been convicted of sexual assault, drug abuse or corruption. Political parties are also required to sign an integrity pact to ensure they adhere to the regulation. If they violate it, they face an administrative sanction in the form of a candidate registration ban.

The decision by the ministry to sign the regulation happened just hours before the period of registration for legislative hopefuls officially kicked off, following heavy lobbying.

Previously, the ministry refused to sign the regulation, arguing it violated the 2017 Elections Law and two Constitutional Court rulings that allowed ex-corruption convicts to run as legislative candidates as long as they exposed their records to the public.

The regulation was not met with open arms by all institutions, as the House of Representatives strongly opposed the ban.

The chairman of the United Development Party's (PPP) House faction, Arsul Sani, said the new provision would only add more problems, as those looking to run in the election could end up suing the KPU and political parties.

Golkar lawmaker Zainudin Amali, who also chairs the House Commission II overseeing home affairs, agreed with Arsul, arguing that there should be a binding regulation on the ban, as the 2017 Elections Law clearly allowed ex-corruption convicts to run.

“The KPU just needs to call on political parties to not accept the former convicts. That’s it,” Amali said. (ebf)