Indonesia Sets Younger Age Limit For Presidential Candidacy

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Durian. The Indonesian Constitutional Court’s judges on Monday decided that every Indonesian below 40 years old can go for president and vice president of the country’s candidacy, if they having experience serving as a government leader in regional levels. The decision allows President Joko Widodo’s elder son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 36, can be a president or vice president candidate in the upcoming presidential election in 2024.

The Court’s decision was shocking many Indonesians, as they believe it’s a way for President Widodo’s family to establish a new “political dynasty”, while Widodo was elected by many in 2014 and 2019 due to the consideration that he did not come from any political dynasty or political elite.

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The panel of the Constitutional Court judges was led by its head Anwar Usman, who is Widodo’s in-law. Usman is married to one of Widodo’s youngest daughters Idayanti since May 2022.

The review over the country’s Election Law   2017, particularly article 169 on the age requirement for the president or the vice president candidate, was proposed by several parties, including political parties such as the Indonesia’s Solidarity Party (PSI) that is now led by President Widodo’s youngest son Kaesang Pangareb. Previously, only those who have age between 50 and 65 years old are allowed to become the candidates.

The PSI wanted the age limit to become president or vice president candidate must be below 40 years old, at least 35, for that the Court rejected the request, but approved another suggestion, that is to allow those who are below 40 years old but has experience as regional government leaders to go for the candidacy.

The Court’s decision was based on the request from a student named Almas Tsabiruqqi, who was born in 2000 and he said that he admires Gibran Rakabuming Raka for his good leadership as the mayor of Solo, Central Java.

In his request that was read out in the court session, Almas said: “Gibran Rakabuming who is in his 35 years old has been able to develop Surakarta (Solo) with his honesty, moral integrity, obedience and serving the people and state’s interests”.

The Count made a new sentence on the article 169 alphabet c as: “minimum age is 40 years old or has experiences or is currently in the post that was elected through general elections including the election of regional head”.

“The provisions of article 169 alphabet c of the Law No.7 Year 2017 as it is meant in this decision is applied in 2024’s presidential and vice presidential election and so forth,” Judge Guntur Hamzah read the decision on Monday.

There are dissenting opinions from four judges, out of nine judges. Those who have different opinions about the decision were Saldi Isra, Wahiduddin Adams, Suhartoyo and Arief Hidayat.

President Widodo’s Family in Political Affiliation

President Joko Widodo, who will end his second tenure of presidency in October 2024, has three children from his marriage to the First Lady Iriana Widodo. They are Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Kahiyang Ayu and Kaesang Pangareb.

Gibran, who is now Surakarta or Solo mayor, is affiliated with the PDI-P, in the same political party with Widodo.

Kahiyang is marrying Bobby Nasution, who is Medan mayor, and also affiliated with the PDI-P.

Meanwhile, Kaesang just elected as the chairperson of the PSI this October.

President Candidates

In his recent interview with an Indonesian newsportal, Gibran said he was proposed by Prabowo Subianto to become his running mate. Probowo is currently the Defense Minister.

When one of the panelists in the interview asked Gibran whether Prabowo Subianto or Ganjar Pranowo ever proposed him to become their vice president candidate, he answered: “Mr. Prabowo”.

The clip of the interview was posted less than 24 hours before the Constitutional Court made its decision regarding the review over the 2017 Election Law.

Three names so far appeared as president candidates – Ganjar Prabowo, Prabowo Subianto and Anies Baswedan. The registration of the candidates will be opened on October 19 through 25. Other political parties that currently expressed their supports to Ganjar candidacy are including Hanura Party, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Democratic Party.

Ganjar Pranowo is the president candidate from the ruling party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), where incumbent President Widodo comes from. Meanwhile, the second president candidate Prabowo Subianto who is the co-founder and chairman of the Gerindra Party is supported by his own political vehicle. Prabowo is also supported by the the Indonesia’s Solidarity Party (PSI), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Golkar Party.

Anies Baswedan, former education minister and Jakarta governor, is another president candidate, who was initially declared by the National Democratic (Nasdem) Party and is now supported by the People’s Awakening Party (PKB) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

Anies Baswedan has declared Muhaimin Iskandar, the chairperson of the PKB as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election.

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