Indonesia court revises regional election rules, amid talk president’s youngest son may seek run

Indonesia court revises regional election rules, amid talk president's youngest son may seek run

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s Supreme Court has approved regulatory changes on the age of candidates in local elections, the judge said on Thursday ( May 30 ), amid guesswork the president’s 29- year- older son is seeking to work in future Jakarta elections.

Last month, a petition was submitted to the judge asking for changes to the rules so that candidates can be inaugurated at the age of 30 rather than the election commission’s official confirmation day.

Mr Suharto, a spokesperson for the judge, said the prosecutor had approved the alterations, filed by the Garuda Party, an obscure group aligned with the ruling coalition.

” It is so that Indonesia may be led by children”, said Mr Teddy Gusnady, a Garuda director.

The surprise decision comes as President Joko Widodo’s youngest brother, Mr Kaesang Pangarep, 29, has been promoted as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor of Jakarta, where local elections will remain held this November.

Mr Kaesang, best known for his fried banana business and recent appointment as head of Indonesia’s Solidarity Party ( PSI), does not turn 30 until December.

New social media posts have featured mock vote banners of Mr Budisatrio Djiwandono, the brother of president- choose Prabowo Subianto, alongside Mr Kaesang.

Mr Prabowo’s Gerindra group and PSI authorities did not immediately respond to questions about Mr Kaesang’s election, but the posters were shared on Gerindra’s standard Instagram page, and by a major Gerindra national on Wednesday.

The court’s decision comes in response to concerns about the depth of dynastic politics in the third-largest democracy in the world and attempts to undermine its top courts ‘ integrity.

Former military commander Prabowo, the eldest son of the president, and his running mate, Mr. Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the president’s eldest son, won the presidential election in a landslide in February. The controversial changes to election law that the Garuda Party also suggested allowed Mr. Gibran’s candidacy.

However, according to legal experts, changes would need to be made to regional election law in order for Mr. Kaesang to run as deputy governor of Jakarta.

” Since the age requirement is regulated in the regional election law, if there’s any appeal, it should be filed to the Constitutional Court, not the Supreme Court”, said legal expert Titi Anggraini.

” So, Kaesang should not be able to register in the 2024 regional election”, she said.

Meanwhile, a political expert in Indonesia claimed that he was shocked by the Supreme Court’s rapid decision-making when there was no pressing need to do so.

” Moreover, it was preceded by posters that appeared on social media. It seems there are prerequisites and agenda settings”, said Dr Cecep Hidayat, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia.