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Kaesang eligible to run in November, Gerindra deputy says

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Jakarta – A senior Gerindra Party politician has acknowledged that Kaesang Pangarep is eligible to run in the regional head elections, though he skirted the idea of Prabowo Subianto's political vehicle endorsing a potential bid by the brother of vice president-elect Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Kaesang became the focus of recent scrutiny after the Supreme Court ruled last week to revise the age requirement for gubernatorial candidates, essentially allowing the 29-year-old to join November's race on a technicality.

The Supreme Court issued a decision on May 30 to change the age requirement for gubernatorial candidates so they must be 30 when they are inaugurated, rather than on the date their candidacy is confirmed by the General Elections Commission (KPU).

With the regional elections kicking off in November and Kaesang turning 30 in December, this technical change allows President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's youngest son to partake in the race.

The top court's decision has caused another major stir following a similar move by the Constitutional Court last October that allowed Gibran to contest the presidential election as Prabowo's running mate, in addition to his father's high approval ratings.

"But it does, in my opinion, make sense if Kaesang wants to run," Habiburokhman said on Tuesday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

However, he gave a noncommittal reply when asked whether Gerindra might nominate Jokowi's other son in the upcoming elections. "Let's observe the dynamics. In my opinion, most of the potential candidates have yet to be decided by [Gerindra chair] Prabowo," he said.

Kaesang, who was thrust onto the national stage last year when he was elected chairman of the youth-oriented, pro-Jokowi Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), recently spoke about possibly contesting the gubernatorial race in Jakarta, where his party is represented on the local legislative council.

"If the question is whether or not I will run [in November], please wait for a surprise in August," he said in response to reporters' inquiries on Tuesday at the PSI headquarters in Jakarta, as quoted by Kompas.com.

Registration for the regional head elections opens in August to candidates with backing from political parties.

As for the recent Supreme Court decision, which indirectly gives him an advantage, Kaesang said it must first be formalized in a new KPU regulation.

He also admitted there was still a measure of uncertainty regarding the rules, as the KPU would need to consult the House of Representatives on the matter.

Chairman Zulkifli Hasan of the National Mandate Party (PAN), a member of Prabowo's coalition, recently stated that President Jokowi was not keen on Kaesang running in November. (tjs)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/06/05/kaesang-eligible-to-run-in-november-gerindra-deputy-says.htm