House of Representatives will likely maintain existing requirements for independent candidates vying for positions in next year's simultaneous regional elections despite earlier suspicions they might to make it tougher for those not receiving the backings of political parties.(Antara Photo/Anis Efizudin)

Simultaneous Election Will Set Off Barrage of Dispute Cases, Warns Ex-MK Chief

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

OCTOBER 11, 2015

Jakarta. The Constitutional Court is bracing for the influx of election dispute cases it will need to hear when, for the first time in its history, Indonesia stages hundreds of regional elections simultaneously this December.

Voters across the country will hit the polls on Dec. 9 to elect nine governors, 224 district heads and 36 mayors, which would present a challenge for the Court (MK), the only judiciary body authorized to hear election disputes, the Court's former chief Mahfud MD said.

"I am sure the Constitutional Court will be flooded with challenges from the losing candidates. Based on my experience, 80 percent of those participating in regional elections and lose will challenge the election results," he said on Sunday as quoted by Kompas.com.

Indonesia is set to stage simultaneous regional elections  in 269 provinces, districts and cities across the country on Dec. 9. (JG Infographics/Iman Firmansyah)

Mahfud said settling hundreds of disputes during the period will be a monumental task for the Court.

"The latest [Regional Elections] Law gives the Constitutional Court 45 days [to settle a dispute], up from the previous 14 days. But it will still be tough. Can they settle election disputes from hundreds of regions in just 45 days?" he asked.

Mahfud also warned security officials that regional elections often end in violence, with assaults, property damages and clashes recorded in some areas.

"If horizontal conflicts also occur [simultaneously], security officials will have a hard time containing them," he warned.

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