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Ambiguity in Regulations dealing with the Limitation of Campaign Funds

The promulgation of KPU Regulation Number 8 Year 2015 (“KPU Regulation 8/2015”) raises the potential of causing multiple interpretations concerning the limitation of campaign funds. Two issues arise. First the scope of the definition of Campaign Funds donation. The second concerning the interpretation of the maximum limit of Campaign Funds donations.

Before we get into the first point of explanation, it is necessary to explain the background of the issuance of KPU Regulation 8/2015. This regulation is being promulgated as the follow up to Perppu Number 1 Year 2014 concerning Governor, Regent and Mayor Elections (“Perppu 1/2014”). It is understood that the decision to stipulate Perppu 1/2014 into Regulations by Law No. 1 Year 2015 as amended by Law No. 8 Year 2015 was based on the legal vacuum that could not be resolved by making the regulation through normal procedure.

As inferior regulation, KPU Regulation 8/2015 ideally should not contradict a more superior regulation, which is Perppu 1/2014. The question is, does KPU Regulation 8/2015 contradict with Perppu 1/2014?. In this writer’s opinion, there is no explicit contradiction between those two regulations. However, if we look more closely, then it can be seen that there is a potential conflict that might occur in future implementation.

The first issue is regulated in Perppu 1/2014 concerning the source of funds for each candidates pair. Then, Perppu 1/2014 does not define the meaning of Campaign Funds donation. The question arises whether it only includes funds/money or does it also include goods/services that are not accountable as money. Moreover, Perppu 1/2014 limits the donation from individuals to a maximum of IDR 50.000.000,- (fifty million rupiahs). Meanwhile, donations from collective or private corporations are limited to IDR 500.000.000,- (fifty hundred million rupiahs).

With the intention to clarify this issue, KPU Regulation 8/2015 then defines the scope of what is Campaign Funds, including i) money ii) goods and/or iii) services. These matters raised a bigger problem concerning the maximum limit of donation. In the event that Campaign Funds donations are in the form of money, the value is clear enough. The same cannot be said for donations in the form of goods. The law stipulates that the value must be compared with the market price for such goods by the way of appraisal. The method to measure the value of donation in the form of services is debatable. Every single person may determine the value of his/her services subjectively. With the same scope, there is a possibility that the value assigned is different if the services are done by a different person. Therefore, the expansion of the definition of Campaign Funds that include money, goods and services has created legal uncertainty for the candidate pairs in relation to the maximum limit of donation.

Based on these matters, it is the writer’s view that ideally, the limitation about the value of Campaign Funds should only be limited to the donation in the form of money to create legal certainty for the candidate pair. Furthermore, the main regulation Perppu 1/2014 does not specifically state that the Campaign Funds include money, goods and services. VOTE!