Students protest court ruling on elections, accuse Jokowi of building dynasty

CNN Indonesia – October 28, 2023
Students hold theatrical action on Constitutional Court ruling – October 27, 2023 (CNN)

Yogyakarta – The Yogyakarta Special Province (DIY) Nusantara Student Executive Council (BEM) is demanding that the Constitutional Court Honorary Council (MKMK) be impartial in dealing with alleged ethical violations by the Constitutional Court related to a ruling on the minimum age for presidential and vice presidential candidates.

"Don't side with or benefit one of the parties, especially those who have a relationship with power [holders]", said BEM Nusantara DIY coordinator Arya Dewei Prayitno at the Yogyakarta Monument on Friday October 27.

Members of the BEM Nusantara DIY held a theatrical action today on the grounds of the Golong Gilig Monument as a form of protest against the Constitutional Court's ruling.

Some of the demonstrators wore masks with pictures of the country's leaders such as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Constitutional Court Chief Justice and Widodo's brother-in-law Anwar Usman and Solo Mayer and Widodo's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

They also crossed out the faces of the leaders using red paint.

BEM Nusantara DIY believes that Widodo, Usman and Gibran are fertilizing a political dynasty in Indonesia through the Constitutional Court's ruling on October 16 that allowed Gibran to run as a vice presidential candidate in the 2024 elections.

They also asked for Usman to be removed from his position as Constitutional Court chief justice. "Their faces were crossed out as a form of our disappointment with the current regime", asserted Prayitno.

The BEM Nusantara DIY has therefore made a commitment to oversea the investigation by the MKMK into alleged ethical violations by the Constitutional Court judges.

"How is it possible to carry out resistance, we hope that a much greater escalation in the wave [of protests] in other regions will be able to interrupt the government's decision so it pursues policies that are truly based on the principles of democracy", said Prayitno.

"Not just principles that benefit a handful of parties that we refer to as the oligarchy",  Prayitno continued.

An MKMK was established earlier to look into reports of alleged ethics violations and judicial guidelines submitted by the public. Jimly Asshiddiqie, Wahiduddin Adams and Bintan Saragih were appointed as members of the council on Tuesday October 24.

MKMK Chairperson Asshiddiqie said that they will hold the first hearing on Tuesday November 1, which will hear a report from constitutional law expert and advocate Denny Indrayana.

The Constitutional Court recently ruled on a number of judicial reviews challenging the age limit for presidential and vice candidates. All of the appeals were rejected except for Case Number 90/PUU-XXI/2023.

That ruling stated that the requirement for presidential and vice presidential candidates to take part in elections, which was originally "at least 40 years old", be changed to "at least 40 years old or to have held a position elected through a general election, including regional elections".

The ruling opened the door for Gibran, who is Widodo's eldest son and Anwar Usman's nephew, and is not yet 40 years old, to take part in the 2024 presidential elections.

Gibran has already registered as a prospective vice presidential candidate to accompany Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto in the election.

The problem with the MKMK however is that Asshiddiqie met with Prabowo in Kertanegara IV, Jakarta, on October 20, and a number of parties have questioned his independence in ruling on the reports against Usman.

"Independence hasn't been talked about, just let us do our work. Later you can make an assessment after it's decided. Rather than the rhetoric, 'God willing I'll be independent', no, it's not like that. Ethics is not just a matter of rhetoric, just let us do our work", responded Asshiddiqie at the Constructional Court building in Central Jakarta on Tuesday October 24. (kum/kid)


According to a report by Benar News, activists have already raised concerns about Jimly Asshiddiqie, a retired Constructional Court justice. who has publicly endorsed Prabowo for the February 14 elections. The report also alleged that Asshiddiqie's son, Robby Ferliansyah, is running for a legislative seat under Prabowo's Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Wajah-wajah Elite Disilang Merah dari Mahasiswa DIY Buat MKMK".]