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Indonesia parliament won't allow power vacuum over election ruling - deputy speaker

Reuters - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament will ensure there is no vacuum of power in the country despite a controversial court ruling to delay the 2024 presidential and general elections, its deputy speaker said on Tuesday.

The surprise March 2 decision by a Jakarta district court, which law experts say it had no authority to make, has added fuel to a lingering debate on whether President Joko Widodo should be allowed to stay in power longer, despite him next year reaching the two-term limit set by the constitution.

Deputy house speaker Lodewijk F. Paulus on Tuesday told parliament the constitution makes clear that elections must be held every five years.

"The Indonesian parliament will give extra attention to the resolution of these legal issues, so that there will not be a vacuum of executive or legislative powers," he said.

He did not elaborate on steps parliament could take.

The election commission appealed the ruling last week and has said it would proceed with poll preparations as normal, despite the court ordering those be stopped for more than two years.

It is not clear when a decision on the appeal will be made.

The case was brought by a little-known party that was formed in 2021 and has no election history, which said its application to register had been unfairly denied by the poll body.

Jokowi, as the president is known, backs the appeal against the ruling and has said he is against the idea of extending his tenure.

The prospect of allowing a third term for the leader of the world's third-largest democracy has been floated by some of his political allies, but opinion polls so far indicate many Indonesians would be against it.

[Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Writing by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Martin Petty.]

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/indonesia-parliament-wont-allow-power-vacuum-over-election-ruling-deputy-speaker-2023-03-14