04/17/2024, 13.54
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Former President Megawati in court against the election of Widodo's son

by Mathias Hariyadi

The daughter of Sukarno, who heads the PDI-P, the party to which outgoing President Joko Widodo belongs, has asked the Constitutional Court to allow her to act as “amicus curiae” in a legal case that could stop Gibran Rakabuming Raka from taking office as vice president after his running mate, General Prabowo Subianto, won the presidency.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Former Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri yesterday filed a petition with the Constitutional Court of Indonesia to act as “amicus curiae" (friend of the court) to offer information, expertise, or insight in a legal dispute concerning last February’s presidential election.

According to commentators, Megawati, leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), hopes to prevent Gibran Rakabuming Raka, son of outgoing President Joko Widodo (a member of the PDI-P), from taking office as vice president.

Gibran was elected with General Prabowo Subianto, the incumbent defence minister, accused of crimes against humanity in connection with the crackdown against Timor Leste's fight for independence in the 1980s and 1990s.

Gibran, 36, was able to take part in the election only because the electoral law that imposed an age limitation of 40 for the highest offices of the land was amended.

In the end, the Prabowo and Gibran ticket won a landslide victory with 58 per cent of the vote, and are expected to take over as president and vice president in October.

After the election results were announced, the other tickets (Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud Md, supported by Megawati's PDI-P, and Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar) launched a legal challenge to disqualify Widodo's son, on grounds of nepotism and abuse of power.

Four student organisations from different law schools also organised demonstrations and submitted applications to the Constitutional Court for amici curiae status.

"We submitted briefs to show our moral responsibility and concern as law students for the presidential election process," said a representative of a student group.

In the request presented by Hasto Kristiyanto, on behalf of the PDI-P and Megawati Soekarnoputri, the eldest daughter of Indonesia's first president Sukarno, the court is asked to consider the ethics of the situation since their “ruling will seriously affect the future of the state and nation."

However, for Habiburohmand, who represents the Prabowo-Gibran ticket, Megawati's move will not succeed in "seriously influencing” the court because the request to be amicus curiae in his opinion is illegal.

“Megawati belongs to the PDI-P and comes from one of the two camps in question, so her request is illegitimate," Habiburohmand said.

For some Indonesian voters, the legal case is politically motivated, led by the candidates who lost the elections, who want to see the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the electoral process.

This attempt has failed so far because of the reluctance by political parties to open a probe.

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