Indonesia's top court rules against lowering age limit of presidential, vice-presidential candidates

Indonesia’s top court has ruled against lowering the minimum age of presidential and vice presidential candidates as the country gears up for election in 2024

October 16, 2023 03:11 pm | Updated 03:11 pm IST - JAKARTA

Chief Judge Anwar Usman, centre, presides over the hearing on a petition seeking to lower the minimum age of presidential and vice-presidential candidates at the Constitutional Court in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 16, 2023.

Chief Judge Anwar Usman, centre, presides over the hearing on a petition seeking to lower the minimum age of presidential and vice-presidential candidates at the Constitutional Court in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 16, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

Indonesia’s top court on October 16 ruled against lowering the minimum age of presidential and vice-presidential candidates as the country gears up for election in 2024.

The court’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.

In August, seven politicians — including from the Indonesian Solidarity Party chaired by the youngest son of current President Joko Widodo — filed a petition against the current age limit for candidates, asking it to be lowered to 35 instead of 40, arguing it was discriminatory.

The 7-to-2 decision by the nine-judge panel of the Constitutional Court rejected the arguments, saying it wasn’t the court’s role to change the age limit for candidates and that it was up to the Parliament to set such laws.

Two judges argued that while the court should uphold the age limit as is, it could add a special exception to those who “served or been elected as regional leaders”.

Mr. Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, currently serves as Mayor of Surakarta and has not announced that he would run, but politicians publicly backing former general Prabowo Subianto running for the 2024 presidential election have called for Gibran to become his running mate. Mr. Gibran is currently 36.

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, is set to vote in simultaneous legislative and presidential elections in February 2024.

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