Indonesian Constitutional Court Decision No. 5 of 2007: Political Nomination

The applicant (Lalu Ranggalawe), a Central Lombok Regency Legislature (DPRD) member, submitted an application to the Constitutional Court on 5 February 2007, which he subsequently amended twice on 5 March 2007 and 13 March 2007. His application sought to impugn the validity of certain sections of Law No. 32 of 2004 on Regional Administration vis-à-vis the 1945 Constitution, which precluded him from self-nominating for the then-upcoming 2008 Nusa Tenggara Barat gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial elections. While the applicant was a member of the Reformation Star Party (Partai Bintang Reformasi), he did not expect to be nominated by the party, and, therefore, wished to nominate as an independent candidate. Pursuant to arts 56, 59, and 60 of Law No. 32 of 2004, however, a gubernatorial candidate could only be nominated by a political party or coalition. In other words, independent candidates were not afforded the same opportunity as those nominated by a political party. Accordingly, the applicant submitted that his constitutional rights, as guaranteed by arts 18(4), 27(1), 28D(3), and 28I(2), had been contravened, and that arts 56(2), 59(1)-(5)(a), (5)(c) and (6), 60(2)-(5) should, therefore, be declared null and void.

The majority of the court acceded to the applicant’s submission insofar as it amended art 59 of Law No. 32 of 2004 to allow for the democratic and transparent nomination and election of independent regional head and vice-regional head candidates.

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