Award Banner
Award Banner

Indonesia court overturns order to delay 2024 elections

Indonesia court overturns order to delay 2024 elections
A worker carries election materials as he prepares ballot boxes before their distribution to polling stations in a warehouse in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 15, 2019.
PHOTO: Reuters

JAKARTA - An Indonesian court on Tuesday (April 11) overturned a lower court's controversial order to delay the 2024 national elections by two years, arguing it had overstepped its jurisdiction and had no authority to make the decision.

The ruling by the Jakarta High Court will ease political uncertainty in the world's third-largest democracy and means the Feb 2024 presidential and general elections should be able to go ahead as scheduled.

The March 2 decision by the Central Jakarta district court stunned many politicians and voters in Indonesia, after it ordered a halt of more than two years on all election activities over a complaint from an obscure party whose application to run had been denied.

The elections will decide among many posts who will be Indonesia's next president, with incumbent Joko Widodo now in the final year of his second term, the maximum allowed by the constitution.

Ruling on an appeal filed by the election commission, or KPU, deciding chief judge Sugeng Riyono on Tuesday said the lower court had no authority or competence to deliberate on the matter.

The recently formed Prima Party, which filed the initial complaint, had argued there were flaws in the KPU's registration process and software. The district court has said it accepted the case because other courts would not take it on.

Afifuddin, a KPU commissioner, said the latest verdict made clear which bodies had the power to decide on election disputes.

"The court ruling has affirmed that general court has no authority or absolute competence to settle this case," he told Reuters.

Mahfud MD, a senior cabinet minister responsible for legal, political and security affairs, said Indonesians must now turn their attention back to the election.

"Everybody must now concentrate on elections being held in February," he told a news conference. "Election matters cannot be presided over by district courts."

The Prima Party had yet to decide if it would appeal to the Supreme Court, said its chairman Agus Jabo Priyono.

Titi Anggraini of the Association for Elections and Democracy said filing an appeal to the Supreme Court would not impact election proceedings or the schedule for the vote.

Tuesday's outcome could take the heat out of speculation that Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, could seek to stay in office beyond his second term, an idea floated by some of his allies that he himself has rejected.

Jaleswari Pramodhawardhani, an adviser to the president's chief of staff, said: "By this court ruling, all unnecessary noise can be silenced".

ALSO READ: Indonesia poll body to push ahead with 2024 elections despite court ruling

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.