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President criticizes court ruling ordering election delay

Jakarta Globe - March 6, 2023

BTV, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday criticized the judges who have ordered the delay of the 2024 general elections in favor of a disqualified political party, calling their ruling a controversy.

A three-member panel of the Central Jakarta District Court ordered the General Election Commission, or KPU, to repeat the selection process from the beginning for the next two years based on a lawsuit by the People's Justice and Prosperous Party (Prima), which sued the KPU after being disqualified from the election.

The president said he supported the KPU in its appeal against the ruling.

"[The ruling] is a controversy which has both its pros and cons but the government supports the KPU to lodge an appeal," the president said during a visit to Bandung, West Java.

He added that the government has approved a budget for the general elections and that the elections should proceed according to the plan.

Legal experts and top government officials have criticized the ruling because a district court has no authority to try an election dispute.

Earlier in the day, a group of activists who call themselves the Indonesian Youth Congress reported the three judges to the Judicial Commission for alleged abuse of power.

They accused the judges of overstepping authority and asked the Judicial Commission to summon them for an investigation.

"The panel of judges at the Central District Court has overstepped their authority by trying a case which should have been handled by the Jakarta State Administrative Court or the General Election Oversight Oversight Body," the group's chairman Romadoni Nasution said in Jakarta.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mohamad Mahfud MD said on Thursday a district court has no authority to try an election dispute.

"The ruling is wrong, and the logic is so simple it can be easily overturned, but still, the verdict may stir controversy and disrupt our concentration. Some may politicize the issue as if the verdict was legitimate," Mahfud said.

The former Constitutional Court chief justice explained that the pre-election dispute concerning a party's qualification can only be settled through the General Election Oversight Body (Bawaslu) and the State Administrative Court (PTUN).

"The Prima Party has lost in both the Bawaslu and the PTUN," Mahfud stressed. Moreover, a district court cannot transform an election dispute into a civil case and use it against the KPU, the minister said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/president-criticizes-court-ruling-ordering-election-dela