Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ganjar-Mahfud camp forms legal team to monitor 2024 elections

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The National Campaign Team (TPN) for presidential and vice presidential candidates pair of Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD has established a legal team to oversee the implementation of the 2024 elections.

The special team, named the Legal Team for Democracy and Justice of Ganjar-Mahfud, began working immediately after its formal formation. “The formation of this legal team is intended to challenge the election,” Mahfud said on Monday, February 19, 2024.

In the same context, Syafril Nasution, Deputy of TPN Ganjar-Mahfud, added that the formation of the legal team was carried out based on the instructions of the presidential-vice presidential candidates candidate pair Ganjar Pranowo – Mahfud MD.

The establishment of the team has also secured approval from the chairpersons of the political parties supporting the presidential candidate pair: the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the United Development Party (PPP), the People’ Conscience Party (Hanura), and the Perindo Party.

Syafril mentioned that TPN has already appointed two senior lawyers, Todung Mulya Lubis as the head of the legal team, and Henry Yosodiningrat as the deputy head. “This team will work to prepare for the future,” said Syafril.

Syafril stated that, so far, the legal team has discussed several findings related to anomalies in the 2024 elections that are considered structured and massive.

He mentioned that these findings would serve as evidence for TPN Ganjar-Mahfud to file a dispute lawsuit for the 2024 Presidential Election at the Constitutional Court (MK). However, he was not willing to disclose the specific findings made by TPN.

Regarding the potential for a repeat of the election, Mahfud had previously mentioned the possibility during a statement at the University of Indonesia, Salemba Campus, Jakarta, earlier this year. At that time, Mahfud stated that the Constitutional Court could potentially annul election results deemed fraudulent.

According to Mahfud, he had experience cancelling election results during his tenure as the chairman of the MK. He said that this is evidence that losing in an election does not mean the losing party cannot use legal rights.

“When I was the chairman of the MK, the MK once decided to annul election results, either in the form of a repeat election or full annulment. Thus, the winner was disqualified, and the loser went up,” said Mahfud.

Mahfud stated this both as a clarification of his repeated statement that losers always accuse the election of fraud and as a reminder that there can be proven cases of fraud in elections.

On the other hand, Mahfud admitted that he made the statement in 2023. Nevertheless, he clarified that it does not mean the losers cannot sue in court. “Do not interpret it as if the plaintiff always loses. Because, there is often proven and convincing cheating,” explained Mahfud.

Referring to Law Number 7/2017 on Elections, elections can be repeated for two main reasons. Elections can only be repeated based on the recommendation of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), which is then decided by the General Elections Commission (KPU) or Post-Constitutional Court Decision based on the decision of the Court.

In the case of a repeat election based on Bawaslu’s recommendation, Article 372 of the Law states that a revote is conducted if a natural disaster and/or riot occurs that renders the election results unusable or the vote count cannot be carried out.

Article 2 states that the vote at the polling station must be repeated if, from the results of the examination and inspection by the polling station supervisors, there is evidence of conditions that could potentially lead to fraud.

Some possibilities include the ballot box being opened incorrectly, the Group of Polling Station Officers (KPPS) asking voters to make special marks, or other technical issues that occur at the polling station.

Furthermore, a repeat election can also be carried out with a decision from the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court’s decision in cases related to structured, systematic, and massive (SSM) fraud that has been handled.

In connection with this, Mahfud mentioned several Constitutional Court decisions that annulled election results or ordered repeat elections.

He mentioned the results of the 2008 East Java Provincial Election when Khofifah Indar Parawansa, initially declared the loser, was later disqualified, and the MK ordered a repeat election. However, Khofifah still lost in the repeat election.

Then there were the results of the South Bengkulu Regency Election and the West Waringin City Election. In addition, Mahfud added that the term structured, systematic, and massive (TSM) violations emerged as a court verdict in Indonesia in 2008.

At that time, the MK, where Mahfud was a constitutional justice, decided on the dispute over the East Java Provincial Election between Khofifah and Soekarwo.

TSM then became the basis for other verdicts and officially entered into election laws. Therefore, it has become jurisprudence and rules in laws, regulations of the KPU, and regulations of the Bawaslu.

However, Mahfud stated that the Constitutional Court’s decision would depend heavily on the evidence presented.

“I handled hundreds of cases, many. Some were repeated, some were recounted, and so on. Depending on whether the judge has evidence or not or if the judge already has evidence, accepts evidence, (whether the judge) dares or not,” said Mahfud.

The 2024 election has become a focus for the Ganjar – Mahfud team due to various irregularities. Irregularities began with the issuance of a Constitutional Court decision allowing Gibran Rakabuming Raka to run as a vice-presidential candidate.

TPN also perceives structured efforts to manipulate the public into choosing the Prabowo – Gibran pair. Additionally, the vote count conducted by the KPU is also suspected of numerous irregularities.

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