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Jakarta Post

Court cancels Jokowi’s dismissal of KPU commissioner

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 25, 2020   /   12:49 pm
Court cancels Jokowi’s dismissal of KPU commissioner General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Evi Novida Ginting Manik speaks to journalists. (Kompas.com/Fitria Chusna Farisa)

The Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) has granted a lawsuit filed by General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Evi Novida Ginting Manik against President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s approval for her permanent dismissal.

Jokowi issued Presidential Decree No. 34/2020 regarding her dismissal in late March after the Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP) discharged her for falsifying the 2019 regional election results in West Kalimantan.

The ruling ordered President Jokowi to revoke the decree, to rehabilitate Evi’s name and restore her position in the KPU, as well as to pay the court fee of Rp 332,000 (US$22.68).

“The President may submit an appeal, but until then, he must restore [Evi’s] position by delaying the implementation of the decree as the object of the dispute until it is legally binding,” Evi’s lawyer, Hasan Lumbanraja, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Hasan said legal considerations taken by the PTUN included “serious juridical defects” by the DKPP during the decision-making for Evi’s dismissal.

The defects included the non-fulfillment of Evi’s right of defense as the DKPP was proven to discharge Evi from the KPU without having previously questioned her, he explained.

He further claimed another defect was that the DKPP was proven to continue its decision-making process even though the plaintiff, Gerindra Party candidate Hendri Makaluasc, had withdrawn his complaint.

Read also: KPU commissioner Evi Novida dismissed for manipulating vote results in West Kalimantan

Moreover, the plenary decision was taken by only four out of the required five DKPP members, Hasan added.

Hasan emphasized that, although Evi was suing the President and not the DKPP, the PTUN had regarded that legal decisions taken by both parties were inseparable.

“The presidential decree that follows up on the DKPP’s decision is two sides of the same coin, meaning that juridical defects in one of them will result in the nullity or invalidation of the other,” he said.

Evi said she was grateful that all of her requests had been granted by the court, hoping that the President would accept the verdict.

DKPP chairman Muhammad said the next steps for the case would all depend on the President.

“The defendant is the President. What the PTUN corrected is the President’s decision.,” he said.

However, he said the DKPP, as formulated in the Election Law, was an ethical institution tasked with overseeing alleged violations of ethics among election organizers. A DKPP verdict, he argued, should be binding and final.

Presidential expert staffer for law Dini Purwono said the President would study the PTUN verdict before deciding the next step.