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Constitutional Court Rejects Losing Papuan Candidates’ Lawsuits

March 13, 2013

JP: Constitutional Court Rejects Losing Papuan Candidates’ Lawsuits

March 13, 2013

The Jakarta Post
by Nethy Dharma Somba

Jayapura: The Constitutional Court has rejected a lawsuit filed by
five Papua gubernatorial candidate pairs against the Papua General
Elections Commission (KPUD) regarding the recent Papua election, in
which Lukas Enembe and Klemen Tinal were declared the victors.

The five candidate pairs are Noak Nawipa and John Wop; Habel Melkias
Suwae and Yop Kogoya; MR Kambu and Blasius Adolf Pakage; Wellinton
Wenda and Weynand Watori; and Alex Hesegem and Marthen Kayoi.

The decision was read out by Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud
MD, with eight other justices in attendance, at the court in Jakarta
on Monday. The five plaintiffs submitted three separate lawsuits, all
of which alleged election fraud.

The plaintiffs said the fixed voters’ list had been inflated to
favor a particular candidate pair, but it was revealed in court that
the voters’ list used by the KPUD to determine the number of
eligible voters in Papua was based on a census conducted by the Papua
Population and Transmigration Office.

Regarding their complaint that the so-called noken system was
undemocratic as a tribal chief could represent voters in his group
when voting for a candidate, the Constitutional Court ruled that it
was not a violation because the system was part of Papuan culture,
especially in La Pago and Mee Pago cultural areas that encompass the
region of Pegunungan Tengah.

Following the court’s ruling, KPU Papua head Benny Sweni said he
would immediately hold a plenary meeting to determine the winners of
the 2013 Papua gubernatorial election and the outcome would be
submitted to the Papua Legislative Council (DPRD).

The DPRD would then hold a plenary session to endorse the winners and
submit the final decision to the Home Ministry to schedule the

“We hope the swearing-in ceremony can be held immediately after
that; the sooner the better, hopefully within this month,” said

On Feb. 14, the KPUD announced Lukas-Klemen, commonly abbreviated to
“Lukmen”, as the elected Papua governor and deputy governor at a
plenary meeting in Jayapura.

Lukas and Klemen, who were nominated by a coalition led by the
Democratic Party, won 1.19 million votes, 52 percent of the total 2.71
million votes, followed by Habel Melkias and Suwae-Yop Kogoya, who
obtained 415,382 votes or 18 percent of the vote.

Less than a week after the announcement, all five defeated pairs of
candidates filed suits with the Constitutional Court on Feb. 19 to
challenge the KPUD’s declaration of Lukas and Klemen as governor-
and deputy governor-elect, respectively.

Local elections in Papua, where US-based miner Freeport McMoran
operates the world’s largest integrated gold concession, have
regularly been the catalysts for conflicts ignited by losing
candidates, while protracted disputes between local leaders contribute
to the slow pace of development in the province.

The Papua gubernatorial election had in fact been postponed for two
years due to a dispute between the DPRD and the KPUD over the
authority to organize the election.

According to Special Provincial Regulation (Perdasus) No. 6/2011, the
DPRD is tasked with the authority to organize election stages from
registration and candidate verification to hearing candidates’
missions and visions, while the KPUD oversees election campaigning and
determines the winners.

In 2011, Perdasus No. 6/2011 was submitted to the Constitutional Court
for litigation and in September 2012, the court ruled that the Papua
election process be returned to the KPUD. Subsequently, the Papua
gubernatorial election was organized on Jan. 29, 2013.

“Finally after two years, Papua has a governor and deputy governor,
marking an end to the election process,” DPRD Deputy Speaker Junus
Wonda said. Add Comment Share on linkedin Share on facebook Share on
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