Expert Testimony on Presidential Ticket’s Age Submitted in Writing

Chief Justice Anwar Usman and Chief Registrar Muhidin at a material judicial review hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections on the age limit of presidential tickets, Tuesday (8/22/2023). Photo by Humas MK/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held another judicial review hearing of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections Tuesday, August 22, 2023 for three cases: No. 29/PUU-XXI/2023 filed by the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and several individual petitioners, No. 51/PUU-XXI/2023 filed by the Change Movement Party of Indonesia (Garuda Party), No. 55/PUU-XXI/2023 filed by several young heads of regions.

At this fifth hearing, the Petitioner of case No. 51/PUU-XXI/2023 presented the expert testimony by Abdul Chair Ramadan, a law lecturer at As-Syafiiyah Islamic University, which had been submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office. Meanwhile, the Petitioners of case No. 55/PUU-XXI/2023 and President/Government cancelled their expert testimony.

“Furthermore, there were three requests to be Relevant Parties in this case, including by Evi Anggita et al.; Raihan Fiki, and Oktavianus, for which the panel has deliberated [and decided] that their testimonies will be heard at the next hearing. You may present experts/witness testimonies in writing. The Court’s Registrar’s Office will inform you of the schedule for the next hearing, which will hear the testimonies of these Relevant Parties, through a summons,” said Chief Justice Anwar Usman alongside Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra and the other seven constitutional justices from the plenary courtroom.

Also read: 

PSI Requests Presidential Tickets Be at Least 35 Years Old

PSI Strengthens Argument of Minimum Age for Presidential Tickets

The case No. 29/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), Anthony Winza Probowo, Danik Eka Rahmaningtyas, Dedek Prayudi, and Mikhail Gorbachev (Petitioners I-V). They challenge Article 169 letter q of the Election Law reads, “Requirements that must be fulfilled by a Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate are as follows: at least 40 (forty) years of age.”

At the preliminary hearing on Monday, April 3, through Francine Widjojo, the Petitioners asserted that the Petitioners were currently thirty-five years old and requested that the lowest age limit for presidential tickets be set at thirty-five with the assumptions that they had enough experience to run in the election. They argued that the norm was discriminatory and against moral and rational values and in violation of Article 28D paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution.

“While in principle, the state provides the nation’s youth with the opportunity to lead the nation and offers the widest opportunity so that the best candidates of the nation can run in the election. Therefore, the object of the petition is a discriminatory provision since it violates moral [values]. When the Indonesian people are forced to only choose leaders that meet a discriminatory requirement, this leads to injustice for the Indonesian people and the selected [candidates],” Widjojo said.

Therefore, the Petitioners requested that the Court grant the entire petition and declare Article 169 letter q of the Election Law unconstitutional and not legally binding if not interpreted as “at least 35 (thirty-five) years of age.” 

Also read: 

Garuda Party Challenges Provisions on Presidential Candidates’ Age Limit

Garuda Party Requests Youth and Experience Be Made Presidential Candidate Requirements 

Meanwhile, the petition No. 51/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by the Change Movement Party of Indonesia (Garuda Party), represented by its central executive board chairman Ahmad Ridha Sabana and secretary-general Yohanna Murtika, who also questions the requirements for the president and vice-presidential candidates’ age limit in Article 169 letter q of the Election Law.

At the preliminary hearing, the Garuda Party revealed its intention as a participant in the 2024 election to recruit regional head candidates under 40 years old to become vice-presidential candidates. Many of these young leaders have potential and experience in government. Similarly, many members of parliament serving in 2019-2024 are under 40 years old, such as 23-year-old Brigitta Lasut from Gerindra, 25-year-old Andrian Jopie Paruntu from Golkar.

In other countries, the Party added, there have been presidents and vice presidents under 40 years old, such as 35-year-old Chile president Gabriel Boric and 38-year-old Chad president Mahamat Deby. In the U.S. Constitution, the presidential candidate should be at least 35 years old.

Therefore, the Petitioner could potentially be harmed by the enactment of Article 169 letter q of the Election Law, which set the requirements for vice-presidential candidates. Since there are many under-40 prospective candidates who can advance the nation and state and have experience in government, the article is in violation of Article 28D paragraphs (1) and (3) and Article 28I paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution. 

Also read:

Young Heads of Regions Challenge Requirements for Vice-Presidential Candidates

Heads of Regions Revise Petition on Age Requirement for Presidential Tickets 

The case No. 55/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by several heads of regions: Erman Safar (deputy mayor of Bukittinggi for 2021-2024), Pandu Kesuma Dewangsa (South Lampung vice regent for 2021-2026), Emil Elestianto Dardak (East Java vice governor for 2019-2024), Ahmad Muhdlor (Sidoarjo regent for 2021-2026), and Muhammad Albarraa (Mojokerto vice regent for 2021-2026). The young petitioners challenge the constitutionality of the age requirement for presidential ticket candidates in Article 169 letter q of the Election Law.

At the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, May 31, legal counsel Munathsir Mustaman explained the Petitioners had lost their constitutional right to run for vice president, which is guaranteed and protected by Article 6 paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. They have experience as state administrators and are currently regional heads, so they argue that they have legal standing to file the petition against the a quo Law.

“Experience as state administrators should be an exception to the requirement of vice-presidential candidate’s age limit. As long as one has experience as a state administrator, even if they are under 40 years old, they should be equated to passing the minimal age limit as required,” Mustaman said.

Based on those reasons, the Petitioners requested in the petitum that the Court declare the phrase “at least 40 (forty) years of age” in 169 letter q of the Election Law unconstitutional and not legally binding conditionally if not interpreted to mean “at least 40 (forty) years of age or have experience as a state administrator.” 

Also read:

House Leaves Presidential Ticket Requirements to Constitutional Court

Perludem, Gerindra’s Differing Views on Age Requirement for Presidential Tickets 

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        :
Nur R.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023 | 13:04 WIB 205