Indonesia as one of the largest democracy states in the globe and considered quite successful in cohabitating democracy values and Islamic values is indeed worth a raise thumb. Paradoxically, Indonesia democracy does not sign significantly positive progress.
Although, Indonesia has already implemented the democracy government since the reformation which ended the authoritarian regime under the Soeharto Administration. The fact that the Indonesia corruption perception index (CPI) is not much better compared to the other democracy states from year to year.. Then the question is what is wrong with the implementation of democracy in Indonesia?
Indonesia has already practiced the direct democracy since 2004. Where the people exclusively have the right to vote president and vice president directly. President, Susilo Bambang Yudhono (SBY) became the first Indonesian to be elected as the president along with Jusuf Kalla as the vice President.
Chosen directly by the people, did not make the SBY’s Administration spared from acts of corruption. During his tenure at that time 2004-2009 and 2009-2014, a number of his minister were convicted in corruption cases. Allegedly the corruption case in his administration due to the formation of the cabinet is not based on the meritocracy but the distribution of seats amongst the President supporting parties.
The President often held hostage in forming cabinet with the necessity to accommodate the interest of the supporting parties. So that the seat of the minister becomes one of the strategic positions that are traded. The presence of supporting parties in the president nomination makes Indonesia democracy process hampered.
Presidential Threshold is governed by the President Election Acts. Namely the obligation to obtain political party support. For instance, minimum gaining 10 percent political party vote in the president election 2004, and 20 percent in the 2009 and 2014. Then possibility of sustained percentage at president election in 2024 ahead. This circumstance stimulates the political process of cow trading or bargaining between the president candidate and political party. The president nomination process being unfair and create the political scandal to run as president.
President threshold which requires the support of political party has already critized by constitutional law scholar. This discourse becomes hot debate because the presidential threshold closes the opportunity to emerge the alternative president candidate and produce the condition where the right of people to be candidate of president abolished. The difficulties to gain the political party support only creates the process of president nomination monopolized by the major party and old party.
Unfortunately, Indonesia legal politics still maintains the existence of a presidential threshold system in election. In fact, this presidential threshold system is seen as no longer relevant when the election system in Indonesia no longer separates the legislative and presidential election as stated by Constitutional Court decision number 14/PUU-IX/2013. This verdict clearly articulated that the Indonesia electoral system is concurrent. As consequences, there is no legal basis to use the previous percentage of vote in the five years ago to the next five years election to come. It means that the PT is compatible as well as useless.
Surprisingly, The Constitutional Court decision did not explicitly mention the abolition of the PT. In the decision of Judicial review on PT, CC states that PT is open legal policy whereby the legislator can legislate the PT provision into the laws as long as it is not for be discriminatory and restrict the rights of citizen to nominate as president. called in a number of CC decision, namely Decision Number 51-52-59/PUU-VI/2008 as well as Decision Number 53/PUU-XV/2017
But the fact, the PT limits the right of citizen that already guaranteed in the constitution to be involved in the governance. The PT issue is also tested back by Rizal Ramli, former minister of Economy of Republic of Indonesia in 2020. Because He felt the hostage even been insisted a number of funds to be nominated as president by political party. Surely, this practice is not healthy for Indonesia democracy ahead.
The Majority of CC Justice still limit themselves by not wanting to cancel the PT. Meanwhile, some other justices namely (5:4) out of a total of 9 justices, thought that this notion should be erased. Public looked at the split of justice in seeing the issue of PT. Justice Saldi, Suhartoyo, Enny, and Manahan agree to tested back this notion but five others rejected the petition of Rizal Ramli.
Compared to USA as the presidential and democratic state, they do not apply any restriction on presidential nomination by using the PT. all parties have the similar opportunity to run for president as long as they get support from political party without a percentage of political party support.
The PT is actually contrary to the principle of fairness where the election should be implemented in a fair and equitable. Cited by John Rawls in his book A Theory of Justice, the inequality access in the fulfillment of socio-political rights is one of the sources of unjust. Because it against the equal opportunity principle. Should any political party which is contesting has the same opportunities and access to nominate the president and vice president despite the chance, they had to win is very tiny, but keep the fair competition is the key in reaching the election justice.
Rawls argues that justice will only be created if all people have an equal access regardless of the background and limitations of the individual. So, He explains that to start the justice, each individual should be at the original position. There is no difference in status, position, or level. All are balance and start in same line. There is no distinction between old party and new party in the right to nominate president and vice president.
The PT policy is already reviewed many times by CC. This situation signs the electoral justice embodied by CC previous Decision has not fulfilled yet. Even perhaps it can be said that keep PT in concurrent election is the wrong decision ever made by CC. An adagium stated that errorehumaniumest, trupe in erroreperseverare, means that error is humane but it is not good to hold on the error track. CC should challenge and review the PT provision. Legal principle named ius curia novit, Justice knows the law so they have to correct each unjust provision including the PT under Indonesia Election Laws.