Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Several legal experts have urged the Constitutional Court (MK) to review the 20 percent presidential threshold (PT) on the nomination of candidates as is currently in effect since it runs contrary to 1945 Constitution.

Chairman of the Indonesian Customary Law Teachers Association Dr Laksanto Utomo reminded the MK in Jakarta on Thursday that the people, as the highest holders of sovereignty, had the right to determine presidential and vice presidential candidates. The basic rights of the people have been established and guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution.

At a discussion on the presidential threshold, attended by several legal and political experts, Utomo pointed out that various countries, cited as the champions of democracy, had no provisions on the threshold for nominating the president and vice president.

"Why is it that precisely in Indonesia, which will hold elections simultaneously, the new rules or terms of reference will be made?" Utomo questioned.

Meanwhile, Fadli Ramadhamil, a researcher of Perludem, an assessment institution in the electoral field, was also taken aback by the fact that the election of the president and vice president on April 17, 2019, only resulted in two presidential and vice presidential candidate pairs: Joko Widodo-Ma`ruf Amnien and Prabowo Subianto-Sandaiaga Salahuddin Uno.

"How come there are restrictions due to the presidential threshold," Ramadhamil stated while noting that the country had some 186 million prospective voters next year. He suspected that the determination of the presidential threshold was partly due to the keenness of several large political parties that were looking to maintain their power, which was better known as political oligarchy.

"Several political parties are supporting the threshold for nominating the president and vice president," Ramadhamil remarked.

Meanwhile, Professor of the Faculty of Law of the Muhammadiyah University, Jakarta, Professor Zaenal Arifin Hosein stressed that the 1945 Constitution did not recognize the limitations as stipulated in the provisions of the threshold for nominating the president and vice president.

"The decision on the presidential threshold is not in line with the 1945 Constitution, so the Constitutional Court must review it again," the professor of law remarked.

The experts basically agreed that provisions regarding the threshold for presidential elections were set with the objective of strengthening the political position of several major parties that agreed in terms of political oligarchy.

Feri Amsari, an expert from Andalas University, Padang, West Sumatra, found it strange that 186 million prospective voters in the country could only select one of the two potential pairs.

"How could 186 million voters only give two names of pairs of potential leaders," Amsari remarked.

"How stingy Indonesian nation is," he added.

The experts are optimistic that the MK would take into account the political aspirations of millions of voters, especially in the 2024 presidential election, so that they do not only focus on the legal aspects.

Reporting by Arnaz Firman
Editing by Eliswan

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
Copyright © ANTARA 2018