Campaign leave 'ensures fairness' between incumbents and others – Witnesses from the government told the Constitutional Court on Monday that campaign leave for regional election candidates was a must in order to ensure fairness between incumbents and non-incumbents running in the elections.
Officials from Home Ministry and Law and Human Rights Ministry said the law applied nationally and all related parties should respect the regulations.
“A candidate should campaign to deliver their vision and mission. We don’t want the public to elect a ‘cat in a sack’,” Widodo Sigit Pudjianto, the Home Ministry’s legal department chief, said during the hearing.
Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has challenged an article in Law No. 10/2016 on regional elections because he does not want to campaign and he has asked the court to make campaign leave optional. However, Sigit argued that incumbents running for office could mobilize civil servants, therefore campaign leave was necessary to ensure that incumbents and non-incumbent candidates were able to compete on an equal basis.
Despite the opposition from the government, Ahok said he was still optimistic about winning his legal challenge.
“We will bring our expert witnesses later. And I am optimistic because the decision is in the hands of the justices,” Ahok said.***
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Editing: T. Bintang

source: Thejakartapost

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