Election Postponement Must Go Through Constitutional Amendments: MPR

Arfi Bambani
Ministry of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian hearing with parliament discussing general election timetable
Ministry of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian hearing with parliament discussing general election timetable - The People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) leadership has yet to formally discuss postponing the 2024 general elections, MPR Deputy Speaker Arsul Sani said.

"The MPR leadership keeps abreast of the discourse in the public space and media. They give comments to each other on the internal WhatsApp group (WAG). Of course, the contents of their comments represent their respective parties' stand,” he said in Jakarta on Monday, February 28, 2022.

Even if the 2024 elections can be postponed through an amendment to the 1945 Constitution by MPR, morally and constitutionally, it will be ill-advised for the institution to do so without asking the entire nation first whether or not they agree to the postponement, he said.

If the postponement of the elections only relies on MPR's formal power to amend the 1945 Constitution and conditions of Article 37 of the Constitution are met, the perception of MPR abusing its power cannot be avoided, he said.

He said the 1945 Constitution stipulates that the people are sovereignty holders of Indonesia.

“Hence, postponing the elections is tantamount to postponing the Constitutional right of the sovereignty holders to elect mandate recipients who will execute the sovereignty for 5 years,” he added.

"Morally, I think it is unethical when MPR as the holder of sovereignty mandate reduces the right of sovereignty owner, the people, if (MPR) does not ask the people who have the sovereignty,” he said.

Some political parties in the Joko Widodo administration's coalition have spoken out in favor of postponing the 2024 general elections. Chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan has affirmed that his party supports postponement.

"Considering various factors and inputs from the public and groups, PAN has decided to agree that the 2024 general elections be postponed," Hasan said at the Parliament Complex last Friday.

He noted that the pandemic has resulted in unstable economic conditions, such as slow economic growth of around 3 to 3.5 percent that has left people struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Muhaimin Iskandar has also suggested that the 2024 general elections be postponed due to the sluggish economic conditions.

However, Secretary General of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Hasto Kristiyanto has brushed aside the proposal for suspending the general elections, saying he believes that it lacks a strong legal basis.

"It also ignores the most fundamental aspect in politics that requires discipline and compliance with the Constitution," he said in a written statement released in Jakarta last Thursday.

Tag # indonesia general election # indonesia election # indonesia politics # 2024 general elections # election postponement

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