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Granting the Lawsuit for Decision Regarding Requirements for Presidential Candidates – Vice Presidential Candidates, YLBHI Says the Constitutional Court is Not Credible to Protect the Constitution

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Jakarta – The lawsuit for judicial review of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning General Elections regarding the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates has been granted by the Constitutional Court (MK). The MK decided that regional heads under the age of 40 could run for president.

Responding to this, Executive Director of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Muhammad Isnur said that the Constitutional Court was not credible in protecting the constitution.

“Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Anwar Usman, has a family relationship with President Joko Widodo, so he is vulnerable to a conflict of interest ahead of the decision that will be read by the Constitutional Court,” said Isnur.

“There are many Constitutional Court decisions that do not represent national interests. Therefore, if the Constitutional Court is consistent in following the rules, the Constitutional Court should reject the presidential and vice presidential candidate’s lawsuit. “However, this did not happen, and the MK actually granted the lawsuit regarding the age limit for Presidential-Cawarpes Candidates,” said Isnur.

Previously, the Constitutional Court decided that the age of regional heads was within the authority of law makers, and violated the code of ethics in the decision on the Job Creation Law.

In line with Isnur, Coordinator of the Archipelago Advocate Movement, Petrus Selestinus, in a discussion held by the Election Society Coalition to Guard Democratic Elections on October 15 2023, stated that the lawsuit was under the domain of the DPR as a legislative institution.

“Seeing the many problems that have plagued MK judges and MK decisions, the MK has tended to become a court of power that is feared to prioritize the interests of certain groups,” said Petrus on Sunday (15/10) in Jakarta.

The discussion raised the theme “MK: Constitutional Court or Power Court? Ahead of the Constitutional Court’s decision regarding the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates,” one of the speakers, namely the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University, Prof. Muchamad Ali Safa’at, said that the potential conflict of interest in the decision on the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates is quite large because it is suspected to have political content because the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court is known to have closeness to certain parties.

“The thing that is a gap for the Constitutional Court in deciding the age limit lawsuit for presidential and vice presidential candidates is to ensure that every citizen is free from discriminatory behavior which is manifested by being equal in law and government,” said Ali Safa’at.

On the same occasion, Ray Rangkuti, Executive Director of Lingkar Madani, expressed his opinion that the Constitutional Court’s decision in the lawsuit regarding the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates was vulnerable to being influenced by political content.

“The issue of nepotism was one of the themes that caused political turmoil in 1997-1998, starting with the entry of members of the Soeharto family into the cabinet. “In the Constitutional Court’s decision where the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court is a close relative of a certain figure, the public will definitely think that the Constitutional Court’s decision is for political interests ahead of the registration of the presidential and vice presidential candidates,” said Ray.

On another occasion, PDI-P politician Rieke Diah Pitaloka said that Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court (MK) Anwar Usman was thinking wrongly. Because, Usman has said, the Prophet Muhammad SAW appointed the warlord Muhammad al-Fatih to fight the Byzantine forces.

If Usman makes this a legal consideration, then there are strong indications that it is a mistake in thinking.

“There are strong indications that it is a ‘fallacy argumentum ad verecundiam’ in a court decision. “There are strong indications that this is inappropriate legal reasoning, due to the use of authority that cannot be justified based on legal science,” said Rieke.

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