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Three top justices reported to judicial body over candidacy age ruling

Jakarta Post - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – A group of lawyers reported to the Judicial Commission on Monday three Supreme Court justices for alleged ethics violations over the court's decision to change the age of candidacy for the regional head elections in November.

The lawyers, from the Democratic and Constitutional Awareness Movement (Gradasi), said the fact that the three-member panel came to a decision after just three days of deliberating the petition had led them to suspect political interference.

"It took only three days to [conclude deliberations], while past cases usually took at least six months to complete. It's suspicious that the process was rushed," said Abdul Hakim of Gradasi, as quoted by Tempo.co.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 2-1 in favor of the Garuda Party, with Cerah Bangun dissenting. The minor party had petitioned the court to revise the age of candidacy for the gubernatorial election to 30 at the time of a candidate's formal nomination.

The court instead decided that gubernatorial candidates must be 30 when they are sworn in, and ordered the General Elections Commission (KPU) to revise its regulation accordingly.

The decision has since garnered controversy for being issued as candidate registration is underway and its apparent bias amid speculation that President "Jokowi" Jokowi's youngest son Kaesang Pangarep is seeking to run for Jakarta deputy governor.

Kaesang turns 30 in December, around the date slated for the KPU to announce the results of the regional head elections.

A Supreme Court spokesperson previously defended the timing of the court's decision, saying it was in line with "the principle of [hearing] a case without undue delay".

Mukti Fajar Nur Dewata of the Judicial Commission said it would be investigating the report. "We'll examine whether or not the reported justices violated ethics," he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Earlier, Mukti said the judicial body was "concerned about the ruling, because at the center of it is a KPU regulation". "In that sense, the ruling also decided how fair and honest the regional elections are [...]," he said, as quoted by Kompas.com.

The KPU has not issued a statement on whether it plans to revise its regulation to comply with the Supreme Court's decision. (jan/ipa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/06/04/three-top-justices-reported-to-judicial-body-over-candidacy-age-ruling.htm