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The Constitutional Court is not objective in its decision regarding the age limit for vice presidential candidates


Jakarta — A flood of criticism occurred against the Constitutional Court (MK) which was seen as prolonging President Joko Widodo’s dynastic politics in power. In several MK decisions, there are aspects that are considered to support dynastic political domination after the decision and the possibility of the President’s influence on the MK due to family relations.

Social Political Observer, Rustam Ibrahim, regrets how the aim of the Constitutional Court is to create true democracy, not just a pseudo-democracy dominated by dynastic politics and oligarchy.

“The constitutional reform that gave birth to the Constitutional Court aims to prevent a repeat of the New Order authoritarian regime led by Soeharto & create a democratic government through fair elections. “Not to create a pseudo-democracy dominated by dynastic & oligarchic politics,” said Rustam via his personal Twitter account @RustamIbrahim (16/10).

Jentera’s constitutional law expert, Bivitri Susanti, also added that this decision further confirms the practice of nepotism. This criticism arose because the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, namely Anwar Usman, has a family relationship as President Jokowi’s brother-in-law.

“That’s true between the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court and the only person under the age of 40 whose name is circulating (to run for the 2024 presidential election), namely Gibran,” said Bivitri.

Previously, in a discussion held by the Election Community Coalition to Guard Democratic Elections with 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 in South Jakarta, various views from experts, academics and legal observers also highlighted that the Constitutional Court’s objectivity is increasingly being eroded.

Election expert from Tulisem, Titi Anggraini, highlighted the importance of the norm test that will be examined by the MK in strengthening the constitution. Titi Anggraini emphasized that election regulations must strengthen and increase the credibility of elections.

“Previously, the Constitutional Court decided that the age of regional heads was within the authority of law makers (during the lawsuit regarding the age limit for regional heads by plaintiff Faldo Maldini from PSI). The interests of the people at large are accommodated by the Constitutional Court regarding the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates, whether they represent national interests. “The Constitutional Court will definitely reject the age lawsuit of the presidential and vice presidential candidates if it is consistent with previous decisions,” said Titi (15/10).

Prof. Ali Syafaat from Brawijaya University, also participated via teleconference, and reminded the Constitutional Court of the potential conflict of interest in the decision on the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates, especially because of the familial relationship between President Joko Widodo and the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court.

“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. “The Constitutional Court must ensure that judicial power is credible and not influenced by any interests,” stressed Prof Ali.

Also present, Political Observer/Executive Director of Lingkar Madani/Lima, Ray Rangkuti discussed the issue of nepotism in politics and resistance to political dynasties.

“The public definitely thinks that the Constitutional Court’s decision is in Gibran’s interests. “If Gibran firmly refuses or accepts the offer to become vice presidential candidate, then this polemic would have ended some time ago,” he concluded.

YLBHI Executive Director, Muhammad Isnur, believes that the Constitutional Court is prone to losing credibility in protecting the constitution.

“Seeing the many problems that plague MK judges and MK decisions, the MK has tended to become a court of power,” explained Isnur.

Chairman of PBHI, Julius Hebrew reminded that the Constitutional Court must remain objective in carrying out its function as a legal institution.

“It does not fulfill morality if parties who have family relations litigate in the same forum,” said Julius.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Centra Initiative, DR. Al Araf emphasized that the Constitutional Court is a reform institution tasked with limiting arbitrariness of power and ensuring the upholding of human rights.

“The crisis in the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court will have an impact on every Constitutional Court decision being considered a problem for the public. The presidential candidate with the most interest in the lawsuit over the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates is Prabowo Subianto. Rewarding is impossible because they are both PDIP with Gibran. “It’s impossible for Anies Baswedan because he has already formed a couple with Muhaimin Iskandar,” he said.

Critics also say that the Constitutional Court should maintain its independence and not just become a tool of dynastic politics. This criticism gave rise to a debate about the role of the Constitutional Court in Indonesian democracy.


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