Indonesia's Constitutional Court refuses to pave way for V-P Jusuf Kalla to seek third term

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla is serving his second term after serving his first term in office in 2004.
Vice-President Jusuf Kalla is serving his second term after serving his first term in office in 2004. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Constitutional Court has rejected judicial review petitions challenging a provision in the 2017 Elections Law that prevents a president and vice-president from seeking a third term in office.

The court upheld the provision in question on the grounds that the plaintiffs - two individuals and two little-known civil society groups - lack legal standing to bring such a case to court.

The disputed provision, the court said, did not curtail the petitioners' constitutional right to vote.

"The petitioners do not have the legal standing to file such a judicial review request," chief justice Anwar Usman said, reading out the ruling on Thursday (June 28).

In the petitions, the plaintiffs argued that the provision would affect Vice-President Jusuf Kalla should he intend to run for re-election as President Joko Widodo's running mate in 2019.

Mr Kalla is serving his second term as vice-president, after serving his first term in office with former president Susilo Bambang Yudhotono in 2004.

The petitioners argued that the Jokowi-Kalla administration's programmes should only be continued by the same pair in the future.

Justice I Dewa Gede Palguna said such an argument, however, was irrelevant with regard to the plaintiffs' legal standing.

The case, he added, could only be disputed at court by a former president or vice-president seeking a third term, or by political parties backing such bids.