Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Prof. Mahfud MD, has been nominated as the vice presidential candidate. He will run the election with Governor Ganjar Pranowo from Indonesia Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-Perjuangan).
In other news, the Constitutional Court has revised the age limit for President/VP nominees, just months before the election. That means the son of President Joko Widodo, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, can be nominated.
The Chief Justice of the Court is married to President Jokowi’s sister. In other words, he is Gibran’s uncle.
Here is the recap of what happened so far this week:
Almost a decade ago, Mahfud was predicted to be Joko Widodo’s running mate in the 2014 election, but Jusuf Kalla was chosen instead.
Mahfud MD was a judge of the Constitutional Court before entering politics. He is also an academician from Gadjah Mada University, and a former member of parliament.
The leader of PDI-P, Megawati Soekarnoputri, praised Mahfud MD for his extensive experiences.
“A figure with complete experiences in legistlative, executive, and judicative bodies. Moreover, Prof. Mahfmud is also known by people as the law warrior and defender of small folks,” said Megawati Soekarnoputri at PDIP-P’s office on Wednesday.
The former president also jokingly added that Mahfud MD could be his “law warrior” to defend her from journalists who bullied her.
Governor Ganjar Pranowo expressed satisfaction with having Mahfud MD as his running mate. Interestingly, Ganjar touched on the issue of the climate crisis in his remark.
“The world is currently facing a climate crisis which threatens all of our lives. Therefore, we determine that all Indonesian natural resources must be used as extensively as possible for the people’s welfare, but also ensure the conservation of nature for the next generation,” said the governor of Middle Java at PDI-P’s office.
“This is not about Ganjar, not about Mahfud, not about power. But it’s about all the people of Indonesia. We make sure Indonesian people are sovereign in food politics, social, free of poverty,” said Ganjar Pranowo.
Constitutional Court Paves Way for Jokowi’s Son
On Monday, the Constitutional Court gave a divisive decision to revise the age limit for presidential/vice-presidential nominees. Now people under 40 can be nominated.
That fits very well for the 36-year-old Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the mayor of Solo city and eldest son of President Joko Widodo.
There has been political speculation that Gibran will be nominated as VP candidate for General Prabowo Subianto. The Solidarity Party of Indonesia, which has a new leader Kaesang Pangarep (Jokowi’s youngest child), has openly promoted the idea of young leaders to lead the country. The party then sent a petition to the court so the age limit could be changed.
The Court said no, but Gibran’s supporters still could smile since the Constitutional Court granted the ther petition that would allow people under 40 could run provided they have experiences as regional leaders.
The petitioner is a senior law student from Solo.
Gibran denied the court’s decision would only benefit him since there are other regents and mayors who are under 40.
“There are Mas Dico (Dico Mahtado Ganindito, regent of Kendal). Who else? In East Java there are a lot, there is Mr. Emil Dardak (vice governor of East Java), Mas Arifin, Trenggalek (Nur Arifin, vice regent of Trenggalek), Mas Dhito (Hanindhito Pramono, regent of Kediri). Mayor of Medan (Bobby Nasution), Mayor of Bukittinggi Mas Erman. Who else? There are so many,” said Gibran on Monday.
Among those names, only Gibran whose father is a president. Mayor of Medan, Bobby Nasution, is the president’s son-in-law. Hanindhito Pramono is the son of Pramono Anung, a minister in Jokowi’s cabinet.