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The Constitutional Court’s decision regarding the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates does not represent the constitution of the Indonesian people

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The Constitutional Court (MK) announced its decision regarding the age limit for presidential candidates (capres) and vice presidential candidates (cawapres) at a hearing held at the Republic of Indonesia MK Building, 2nd Floor, Jakarta on Monday (16/10/2023).

The Constitutional Court decided to reject the lawsuit for judicial review of Article 169 letter q of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning the age limit for presidential candidates (capres) and vice president (cawapres).

“Reject the applicant’s application in its entirety,” said Anwar at the Indonesian Constitutional Court Building, Monday (16/10/2023).

Based on the results of the Constitutional Court’s decision, the Court granted permission for individuals who have not reached the age of 40 to run for president or vice president, as long as they have experience as regional heads or in other positions elected through general elections.

This decision sparked a polemic which was seen as creating legal chaos. The Constitutional Court’s decision is considered to violate its authority. Determining the requirements for presidential and vice presidential candidates is a legislative mechanism and the executive as the law maker.

Former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court (MK) Hamdan Zoelva said that the decision at the MK was not based on agreement, but on standard norms. According to him, there are no standard norms for determining the appropriate minimum age limit for presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

He explained that setting the age limit for national leadership candidates was a political agreement that formed the law. Namely, the DPR and the government are in preparing the future regulations.

“That is what is usually called open legal policy, it is up to the political decisions of the law makers. That’s the principle,” he said.

On the other hand, Chairman of the National Council of the SETARA Institute, Hendardi, said that the Constitutional Court’s decision was not based on the constitution of Indonesian citizens. The decision made by the Constitutional Court was part of personal political interests.

“The Constitutional Court’s decision is not intended to uphold the constitutional rights of citizens, but is only based on political interests,” he said.

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