March 6, 2023
JAKARTA – The Presidential Palace issued a statement on Friday that it remained committed to supporting the holding of the 2024 general elections in February next year and that it would continue to provide assistance to the General Elections Commission (KPU) in its planning for the democratic process.
Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, a senior official at the Executive Office of the President, said on Friday the government “is still committed” to holding the elections on time and called for calm.
“Please don’t be provoked by information or movements aimed at muddying the water. Trust the KPU to make the best move,” Jaleswari said in a statement.
The Central Jakarta District Court ruled on Thursday that the KPU must halt all election preparations for more than two years and effectively delayed the February 2024 elections. The decision, which has drawn widespread criticism, stemmed from a lawsuit filed by an obscure party after its application to contest the election was rejected last year.
The KPU said it would appeal the ruling while forging ahead with organizing the polls.
The ruling has revived a debate regarding President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s tenure, where some senior political figures openly back the idea of him staying in office beyond his second term, which ends next year, while others warn such a move would roll back two decades of hard-won democratic reforms.
The constitution mandates a two-term limit for presidents and vice presidents and the Constitutional Court made clear in a ruling on another case on Tuesday that there could be no extension beyond that.
Separately, chairperson of the country’s largest political party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Megawati Soekarnoputri, threw her support behind the KPU and called on the agency to press ahead with the election process.
“The PDI-P remains resolute in its decision to abide by the Constitution and support the KPU to hold elections as scheduled. That’s why Ibu Megawati calls on the KPU to carry on implementing the election agenda,” PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto said in a statement.
An Indonesian labor party said on Friday its members would protest against the controversial court ruling ordering the KPU to delay the 2024 general elections.
Said Iqbal, chairman of the Labor Party, said workers would protest the district court’s decision as it went against the recent Constitutional Court ruling that effectively vetoed the extension of a sitting president’s tenure.
“The Labor Party will fight against the ruling to delay the elections,” he said. He did not say when the protest would take place. “If the discourse comes back to the surface, it will create more uncertainties around the elections,” said Arya Fernandes, a political analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia, adding it would also create an unstable investment climate.