Petitioners Hite Badenggan Lumbantoruan and Marson Lumbanbatu challenging the Election Law in the Constitutional Court, Wednesday (9/13/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.
JAKARTA (MKRI) — The provision on the age limit for presidential and vice-presidential candidates in Article 169 letter q of Law No. 7 of 2017 on General Elections (Election Law) has been challenged once again in the Constitutional Court (MK). At the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Hite Badenggan Lumbantoruan and Marson Lumbanbatu conveyed their petition for case No.100/PUU-XXI/2023. The hearing was presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra (panel chair) and Constitutional Justices Manahan M.P. Sitompul and Arief Hidayat.
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.”
The Petitioners stated that they are legal subjects who have legal capacity (aged 30 and 38 years, respectively). They have the right to elect presidential and vice-presidential candidates, whose requirements are set out in Article 6 of the 1945 Constitution. They also have the right to be elected as president and vice president.
“Factually, the Petitioners’ legal right to run as vice president candidates cannot be exercised because Law No. 7 of 2017 has discriminatorily restricted their right because a vice-presidential candidate must be at least 40 years old. Further facts in the statutory provisions of legislation in Indonesia, specifically for heads of regions, the minimum age required to run is 30 years old. Factually, [this requirement applied for] Lampung governor M. Ridho Ficardo (34 years old), Medan mayor Boby Nasution (32 years old), Trenggalek regent Emil Dardak (32 years old), and Solo mayor Gibran Rakabuming (35 years old),” Lumbanbatu explained.
He emphasized these millennials are heads of regions, thus have experience in government. The regional head, he argued, is as weighty a position as the president and vice president. They, in fact, hold executive power, not unlike the president and vice president, who are also elected by the citizens.
Therefore, the Petitioners believe it reasonable to argue that Article 169 letter q of the Election Law is inconsistent on the nomination of regional heads, as it allows candidates under 40 years old to run.
For this reason, in their petitum, the Petitioners asked the Court to declare the phrase “at least 40 years old” in Article 169 letter q of the Election Law contrary to the 1945 Constitution and does not have binding legal force as long as it is not interpreted as “at least 30 years old”.
Responding to the petition, Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat advised the Petitioners to read the Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) as a guideline in preparing the petition. In addition, he also asked the petitioners to provide strong reasons for the petition.
“You read the PMK in preparing the petition, which PMKs was it? You should read [it]. There is a PMK for preparing the petition,” he said.
He also asked about the petitum where the Petitioners requested that presidential and vice-presidential candidates be at least 30 years old. “In the petitum, the age of the president and vice-presidential [candidate is requested to be at least] 30 years old. Why did you choose the number? There are other petitions that ask for 35 years, 25 years, 17 years. Based on that, you should be able to analyze why you chose 30. That is what you have to explain in the posita,” he advised.
Similarly, Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul said there must be a strong reason to chose the age limit of 30. He also asked that the petition be revised following the PMK on judicial review.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra advised the Petitioners to re-evaluate the petitum. “Please have a look at it again, whether it is correct to formulate the petitum like this or not. Don’t let your petition be unclear. The most fatal thing in this petition is the lack of explanation or argumentation as to why the age of 40 if not interpreted as 3 is unconstitutional. There is no explanation, when this is what we will assess,” he advises.
Before adjourning the hearing, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra informed the Petitioners that they had 14 workdays to revise the petition and submit it to the Registrar’s Office no later than Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
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Author : Utami Argawati
Editor : Nur R.
PR : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator : Tahlitha Laela/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.
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 | 17:24 WIB 20