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The KPU as organizer of the 2024 elections is increasingly moving away from the rule of law. A series of controversies and defiance of court decisions were taken by the KPU without shame or hesitation. Until now, the KPU has been proven to be avoiding and looking for reasons not to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the material review of the KPU Regulations regarding the formula for calculating the 30% quota for female legislative candidates in each electoral district.

The KPU also continues to look for reasons and make excuses for not implementing the Supreme Court Decision, which states the KPU Regulations regarding Nominations for DPR and DPRD Members, as well as the KPU Regulations regarding DPD Nominations, especially regarding the provisions for a cooling off period for former convicts to be able to become election participants.

The Supreme Court has explicitly stated that the provisions in the KPU Regulations are wrong, and contrary to the Law and the Constitutional Court Decision. The Supreme Court stated that every former convict who was threatened with a sentence of five years or more must serve a five-year cooling off period. The norm which states that the five-year cooling off period is waived for former convicts who receive additional criminal sanctions in the form of revocation of political rights in the KPU Regulation on Nominations for Legislative Members, is declared contrary to the Election Law and the Constitutional Court Decision.

However, it is a bitch to the rule of law. The KPU actually remained silent. Continuously defend not to implement the Supreme Court Decision. His trickery even looks ridiculous. Starting from discussing the KPU’s exception regarding the timing of the application for a judicial review which had been rejected and not considered by the Supreme Court, inviting and asking for the opinion of legal experts, to sending a letter to the party leadership which had no clear binding force and follow-up.

This situation is very worrying. The holding of elections, which should be protected by a mental attitude that adheres to the supremacy of the law, is in the hands of people who are afraid of political parties, and ignore the decisions of two high state institutions at the top of the judiciary.

Perspective matters

The series of controversies created by the KPU certainly threatens the integrity of the 2024 elections. The attitude and policy choices of KPU commissioners who defy court decisions are a serious ethical violation. The steps taken by the KPU commissioners to ignore the court’s decision are a big danger for the implementation of the 2024 elections. If we look closely, the KPU commissioners’ attitude is due to their perspective as election organizers, which was allegedly wrong from the start.

The approach of the KPU commissioners, even shown in many of the KPU’s institutional attitudes, confirms that the KPU organization is currently run by individuals who consider the political parties in the DPR and the Government to be their superiors. In fact, what is even more embarrassing is that the KPU seems to work as an election organizer, and fully serves the interests of political parties and election participants. In fact, holding elections is a constitutional democratic agenda which is a space for public participation, as owners of sovereignty.

After more than 1.5 years of running the election management organization, it can be concluded that the KPU and election management were carried out in the wrong way. It’s like running a mode of transportation, holding elections which are a mode of air transportation, run by a bus driver or train driver. The consequences are certainly fatal. Everything can go wrong. Even more worrying, it will cause accidents and danger for many people.

This situation certainly cannot be tolerated. The fact that the KPU is disobeying two Supreme Court decisions and the Constitutional Court decision is a situation that must be taken seriously. If the KPU’s policy choices continue to be carried out based on the political interests of election participants, without any independence and professionalism from the election organizers, it is time for the Election Organizer Honorary Council (DKPP) to take the strictest sanctions against all KPU commissioners.

Impact on election results

If the KPU remains unmoved by the two Supreme Court decisions, election participants and the public must be prepared that the results of the 2024 election will be problematic and will almost certainly be annulled. The main legal issues that were ordered by two Supreme Court decisions to the KPU were related to the composition of 30% female legislative candidate members in each electoral district, as well as the fulfillment of the requirements for election participants who have the status of former convicts.

This means that this is related to the legal conditions for the people who will participate in the election. If the KPU continues to defy the Supreme Court’s decision, there will be a serious impact on participation in the 2024 elections. First, if the KPU does not change the KPU regulations regarding the minimum composition of 30% female legislative candidates for each electoral district, there will be many political parties that will not fulfill the requirements of the Election Law in prepare a list of legislative candidates.

This clearly contradicts the provisions of the Election Law which requires all political parties to nominate 30% of women in each electoral district. If the composition of political party legislative candidates for each electoral district conflicts with the Election Law, the election results will be very vulnerable to being annulled by the Constitutional Court.

Second, if the KPU does not change the KPU regulations regarding the mandatory five-year cooling off period for every former convict who is threatened with a five-year sentence, there will be legislative candidates who do not meet the candidate requirements, but are included in the list of permanent candidates. This means that legislative candidates who do not meet the candidate requirements will be available on the ballot paper and can be chosen by voters. In fact, legally, legislative candidates who have the status of former convicts who face a sentence of five years or more, are required to complete a five-year cooling off period before they can participate in the election again.

This balelo and defiant attitude has occurred in the 2020 regional elections in Boven Digoel Regency, Papua. There are regional head candidates who do not meet the five year cooling off period requirements, who are included by the regional KPU as regional election participants, and then win in the election process. As a result, the regional election results were challenged at the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court’s decision is very firm. The results of the Boven Digoel Regency regional elections were annulled, and they were ordered to carry out re-elections.

So, is the cancellation of the 2024 election results and the order to carry out re-elections also what we will be facing because of the KPU’s defiant attitude towards the judiciary?


Program Manager of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem)

This article was published in Media Indonesia on November 29 2023 with the title “”KPU serta Sikap (Membangkang) pada Mahkamah Konstitusi dan Mahkamah Agung”, https://mediaindonesia.com/opini/633293/kpu-serta-sikap-membangkang-pada-mahkamah-konstitusi-dan-mahkamah-agung