Thursday, May 29, 2014, 10:45
Indonesia court ensures military, police neutrality
By The Jakarta Post/ANN

 Indonesia court ensures military, police neutrality
Indonesian presidential candidate and Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo is greeted by supporters during a conference in Jakarta on May 27, 2014 of the National Democrat Party, which is backing Widodo's candidacy. (Photo /AFP)

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Constitutional Court issued a ruling on Wednesday confirming that active military and police personnel were not eligible to vote in the July 9 presidential election, following a judicial review of the 2008 Election Law proposed by a non-governmental organization.

The review was filed due to the possibility of multi-interpretation of the regulation.

Previously, two activists from the Indonesian Institute for Constitutional Democracy (IICD), Ifdhal Kasim and Supriyadi W. Eddyono filed for a review with the court regarding Article 260 of the law, which stipulates that military and police personnel are not eligible to vote in the 2009 presidential election.

“Perhaps the lawmakers overlooked that the year mentioned in the article could be misinterpreted as being applicable for the 2009 election only, while the law itself also applies to the 2014 election. The effect of this problem could be vast,” Ifdal said in a press statement.

Ifdal also said that military and police personnel were expected to remain neutral in the elections for a number of political and social reasons, including the trauma of New Order’s militaristic regime

Also on Wednesday, the court said that limiting military and police personnel’s right to a say in elections could be justified by Article 28J of the 1945 Constitution, as long as it was done in accordance to the law and based on strong reasons.

The article stipulates, “In exercising their rights and freedom, every person is subjected to limits set by law with the sole purpose of guaranteeing the recognition of and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and to meet the demands of justice in accordance with morality, religious values, security and public order in a democratic society.”

Separately, Indonesian Military Commander Gen. Moeldoko said he hoped that the court ruling could convince the public that the military would maintain its neutral in the presidential election.

“It also means that we do not need any government regulation in-lieu-of law (Perppu) regarding the issue,” he added.