Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has asserted that the General Elections Commission's (KPU) plan to ban former graft convicts from running in legislative elections was both discriminatory and against the law.
Yasonna acknowledged that the KPU's intentions were honorable in issuing the regulation, but it must be pursued through a mechanism that did not contradict prevailing laws.
"Everyone agrees that candidates running for legislative positions should be honest and accountable people, but the law states that former [graft] convicts can run [in legislative elections] after serving their sentence and declaring their status publicly," Yasonna said on Wednesday.
Law No. 7/2017 on general elections stipulates that former corruption convicts who have served a sentence for more than five years can participate in legislative elections as long as they publicly declare their status.
Yasonna said the KPU's planned regulation was also discriminatory in nature because former terrorist convicts were not included in the list of people who did not qualify as candidates. Besides, he said, it also contradicted the Constitutional Court's ruling.
The minister instead suggested that former convicts who ran in legislative elections must have their conviction status written beside their name and ballot number at polling stations.
"It is better for the KPU to regulate technical details instead of curtailing [people's] rights," Yasonna said. "The KPU does not have the authority to eliminate such rights." (ebf)