The Jakarta Post
Hanura Party chairman Oesman Sapta Odang has said he would ask President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to reprimand the General Elections Commission (KPU) over its refusal to list the businessman-turned-politician as a Regional Representatives Council (DPD) candidate.
Oesman’s lawyer Herman Kadir said his client would also ask the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN Jakarta) to send a letter to Jokowi demanding that the KPU issue a ruling that says Oesman is an eligible candidate.
Oesman, Herman said, would not resign from Hanura or step back from the candidacy.
“No, he won’t step back. [We will] order the PTUN to send a letter to the President. Then, it’s the President who will decide,” Herman said.
Hanura is one of the political parties that support Jokowi.
Tension between Oesman and the KPU started in September, when the commission removed him from the provisional legislative candidacy list in September because Oesman insisted on maintaining his party leadership.
The KPU issued a regulation (PKPU) stipulating that political party officials must resign from their parties to be eligible to run in a DPD election. The regulation is in line with a Constitutional Court ruling issued in July that bans party officials from running as DPD candidates.
Oesman, then, filed a petition to challenge the PKPU to the Supreme Court and the PTUN Jakarta. Both of the judicial bodies were in favor of Oesman and annulled the KPU decision that stated that Oesman was not eligible to be a DPD candidate.
The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) also backed Oesman, saying that the KPU had committed an administrative violation and ordered it to allow Oesman to have candidate status.
Bawaslu ordered the KPU to revoke its decree on the final DPD candidate list for the April election and issue a new decree that included Oesman’s name on the list of candidates.
However, the KPU insisted on following the Constitutional Court ruling, pushing Oesman to tender his resignation with the party in order to be listed as a candidate.
The KPU gave Oesman until Jan. 22 to submit his resignation letter, but he insisted on keeping his leadership role. As a result, the KPU officially removed Oesman from the final candidate list.
KPU commissioner Ilham Saputra said the commission was ready to face any possible pushback from Oesman.
“We’ll deal with it. It’s that simple. [Oesman] can report us to any relevant institution, but we are committed to holding our decision. The Constitution is all that matters,” Ilham said.
Another KPU commissioner, Wahyu Setiawan, said no party could intervene with the commission. He cited the Constitution in explaining that the KPU was an independent body and therefore could not be controlled by any party or the President.
“The KPU is supervised and must follow the regulations,” Wahyu said.
He also explained that never before in history has a president had the legal grounds to order that the institution follow the court’s ruling.
Election observers have criticized the Bawaslu for its inconsistent ruling that defied the Constitutional Court’s final and binding decision on the matter.
Titi Anggraini, the director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), said that the Bawaslu’s ruling had no legal basis: “The [Constitutional] court’s ruling clearly […] bans party officials from contesting the [DPD] election.”
“The public will become confused and could lose its trust in the election if the election organizers themselves do not adhere to the [court's decision] in running the election,” she said.