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Secretary General of PP Muhmmadiyah: There is a “Big Scenario” Behind the Constitutional Court’s Decision Regarding the Age Limit for Presidential-Vice Presidential Candidates


Jakarta – General Secretary of PP Muhammadiyah, Prof. Dr. Abdul Mu’ti said there was a big scenario behind the decision of the Constitutional Court (MK). His party was not surprised to learn of the Constitutional Court’s decision because there were other elements outside the law that influenced the decision.

I have heard the Constitutional Court’s decision, I personally am not that surprised because it seems like there is a big scenario where in the end the lawsuit for change will not be granted but a ‘middle way’ will be taken, the important thing is that he has leadership experience, I have suspected that for a long time, said the General Secretary of PP Muhammadiyah, Prof. Dr. Abdul Mu’ti as a resource person in a Webinar with the theme MK: Constitutional Fortress? which was carried out by the Moya Institute in Jakarta, Tuesday 17/10/2023.

The General Secretary of PP Muhammadiyah further added that the Constitutional Court’s decision was very visible and if it used a scenario that would be predictable. So personally I’m not that surprised.

According to him, Indonesia has a problem where many things in Indonesia end up seeing the law only in terms of formality and then many things related to the law, even the Constitution, are poor and lose their inner dimension, that is what is happening now.

The statement in the explanation of the 1945 Constitution that a law should not only be seen from its material side but also the spiritual atmosphere that accompanies it now seems to have been increasingly removed so that various matters relating to the law and various legal decisions have indeed become instruments for certain interests and this is so visible to the eye, he concluded.

“We cannot hope much that our DPR colleagues will remain critical of certain laws, which in the context of saving the country could be dangerous. The public is also apathetic because there is less and less hope of many laws that will be in their favor,” he explained.

This kind of atmosphere is dangerous. If this really happens, that the Constitutional Court’s decision becomes part of the red carpet to pave the way for Gibran to run for Vice President, then in the end the initial scenario will emerge and it will be easy to predict, he said.

“It is feared by many parties who really care about the future of our nation and democracy that the quality is decreasing, becoming part of a bad precedent for the democratic context, but in the long term it will damage Indonesia,” he stressed.

The Constitutional Court’s decision triggered accumulative disappointment and then gave rise to public violence that could not be controlled, he said.

The Constitutional Court has become an institution that has actually damaged its own dignity, and what has been widely circulated is the statement of some constitutional judges that they did not expect it to be like that, and it seems like it was taken unilaterally by certain judges at the Constitutional Court, this could also set a bad precedent and internal divisions. That MK should not have happened, said the General Secretary of PP Muhammadiyah.

Meanwhile, on the same occasion, Chairman of the Setara Institute Management Board, Hendardi, said that after 20 years, the Constitutional Court’s performance had moved away from its initial design, where the Constitutional Court was governed by the Constitution to uphold the constitutionality.

According to Hendardi, the Constitutional Court has transformed into a superbody institution that can barely be controlled, except through the ethics honorary court.

The only institution that does not have a design of checks and balances is the MK, because the MK is used to violating various principles of constitutional justice, every time the DPR and the President change the MK Law, which technically limits the MK’s authority, they will cancel it. That’s what happened, explained Hendardi.

I think the Constitutional Court’s decision, which was just released yesterday, is an accumulation of deviations that the Constitutional Court has made in examining various statutory regulations.

Something that the MK should not have done, the low level of integrity of the MK in maintaining conflict of interest in examining cases, how could the MK adjudicate the Constitutional Court Law which regulates itself. This is contrary to the principle that ‘a person should not be a judge in a case if they have an interest in the case,’ he said.

The Constitutional Court’s habit of deciding cases exceeds what is requested or requested, and this makes noise outside the court a consideration in deciding cases. The Constitutional Court is changing to be primarily guided by the constitution, he concluded.

The MK is really promoting constitutional evil or constitutional crimes. “Because in essence, the MK is no longer upholding the constitution but accommodating the political aspirations of political actors. Instead of being a fair referee and regulator of political rhythm, the MK has actually opened itself to being politicized by accommodating political will, especially those coming from ruling actors,” he explained.

Therefore, above the electoralism issue, whether Gibran will run or not is none of my business, the main thing today is, the MK has fallen to its lowest point of integrity in the last 20 years, in fact this is the first time a MK Judge has expressed his disagreement openly and sharply .

“From the start, I have reminded you that the Constitutional Court’s choice to conduct hearings by examining case practice is not the right step to be consistent with the Constitutional Court’s duties,” he added.

The Constitutional Court should have been able to decide from the opening session that the material review of the minimum age limit for presidential and vice-presidential candidates is not a constitutional issue and is not the Court’s business.

According to the General Secretary of PP Muhammadiyah, it was therefore declared not accepted from the start. The preliminary hearing should be designed to screen which cases fall within the Constitutional Court’s authority and confirm whether or not there are constitutional issues in a norm, rather than being a ‘Trash Basket Court’, trying to hear all cases.

On the same occasion, apart from not being a constitutional issue, the age limit for filling public positions is clearly an open legal policy, which therefore is not the authority of the Constitutional Court to regulate it, he said.

Another thing that is also fundamental is that since its founding, the Constitutional Court has emphasized the limits of the interpretation of discrimination which is often used as an argument based on the arguments for reviewing the constitution, constitutionality, norms. Many people mistakenly use the argument for discrimination which is actually a form of different treatment in different conditions. “In 10 years of research on the performance of the Constitutional Court conducted by our institution (Setara Institute), in 2013 it was noted that the Constitutional Court had contributed to providing limits to the meaning of the concepts of discrimination and non-discrimination,” he explained.

“All academic records have been distorted, especially by the 5 constitutional judges who embarrassingly granted the regime’s wishes,” he concluded.

Whatever the reason, the Constitutional Court has exceeded the limits of its authority, the Constitutional Court has taken over the role of the DPR and the President, two institutions that have legislative authority, he stressed.

“Because with the decision accepting and changing the sound of the article, it means that the Constitutional Court is carrying out legislative positivity, the Constitutional Court is also interpreting the provisions of the open legal policy at will according to the tastes of the authorities,” he stressed.

“The Constitutional Court, which claims to be the only institution interpreting the constitution, has in fact led deviations from constitutional life and promoted constitutional ugliness or crimes,” he said.

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