INDONESIA — The General Election Commission (KPU) of Indonesia has officially assigned the ballot numbers for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Tuesday (14 Nov).
These numbers will be featured on the ballot papers during the upcoming voting process on February 14 and in the event of a runoff election if no winner is determined in the first round.
The allocation of the numbers was based on a predetermined queue order, and the results have already sparked discussions and controversies.
The pairing of Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar received the number one spot, while Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming secured number two. The number three spot was given to Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD.
All three pairs were declared to have met the presidential threshold, securing a minimum of 25 percent of valid votes nationally. Additionally, they successfully passed the health examination stage conducted at the Gatot Subroto Central Army Hospital.
Despite receiving their ballot numbers, the candidates are not permitted to commence their campaigns immediately. The campaign period is set to begin on 28 November 2023 and will continue until 10 February 2024.
A day prior to the official assignment of ballot numbers, the Election Commission officially recognized three pairs of presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 2024 Presidential Election.
The proposed presidential and vice-presidential candidates Anies Baswedan and Muhaimin Iskandar were nominated by the National Democratic Party, the National Awakening Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party.
Ganjar Pranowo and Mahfud MD were nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the United Development Party, Perindo, and Hanura.
Meanwhile, the pairing of Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka were nominated by Gerindra Party, Golkar, the National Mandate Party, the Indonesian Solidarity Party, the Crescent Star Party, the Democratic Party, and the Garuda Party.
However, a legal challenge regarding the minimum age requirement for presidential and vice-presidential candidates is currently pending in the Constitutional Court (MK), and it could potentially impact the candidacy of Gibran Rakabuming Raka, whose nomination has been surrounded by controversy.
The candidacy of Gibran, the mayor of Solo and the eldest son of President Joko Widodo, stems from the Constitutional Court’s decision to amend the age requirement for presidential and vice-presidential candidates last October.
This amendment allowed Gibran, who is under 40 years old, to be nominated due to his current position as an elected official.
Just hours before the announcement of the participants in the 2024 Presidential Election, a group of protesters gathered in front of the KPU office in Jakarta.
They expressed their objection to the candidacy of Prabowo-Gibran, citing ethical and moral flaws. The ethical concerns revolve around the Chairman of MK, Anwar Usman, who was found to have committed serious violations of the ethical code for constitutional judges.
The MK Honorary Court declared that his actions during the decision-making process on the age requirement for presidential and vice-presidential candidates, a decision that facilitated Gibran’s nomination, constituted a violation.
The campaign team of Prabowo-Gibran welcomed the KPU’s decision, asserting that various parties had attempted to obstruct their candidacy.
Nusron Wahid, the Secretary of the National Campaign Team for the pair, stated, “This designation indicates that efforts to hinder certain parties by discrediting Gibran turned out to be ineffective, and the progress of the Prabowo-Gibran pair hopefully will not be hindered anymore.”
He urged those who still reject and exploit false narratives about their candidates to consider the factual and legal reality that Prabowo-Gibran has met the requirements and has been designated by the KPU.
The nomination of Gibran as a vice-presidential candidate has ignited controversy due to concerns about political dynasties.
Kaesang Pangarep, Jokowi’s third child, currently serves as the Chairman of the Indonesian Solidarity Party, a party that also supports Gibran’s candidacy. The issue of dynastic politics remains a contentious topic as the nation moves closer to the 2024 elections.