Building a Dynasty

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Indonesia’s top court ruled against lowering the minimum age for presidential and vice-presidential candidates, a decision that just a few months before the elections in 2024 could see the son of incumbent Joko Widodo run for the country’s top post, Al Jazeera reported Monday.

The Constitutional Court rejected a number of petitions to lower the minimum age from 40 years to 35, with judges saying the petition had no “reasoning according to law” and the decision to change the age limit should be left to parliament.

However, it also ruled that there could be an exception for presidential and vice-presidential candidates who have been elected as regional leaders.

The verdict comes as Indonesia gears up for its presidential and parliamentary elections on Feb. 14, 2024. Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – is barred from running because of term limits.

The governing Democratic Party of Struggle has picked the governor of Central Java, Ganajar Pranowo, as its candidate. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto is also expected to run.

Despite Jokowi’s absence, speculation has mounted that one of his sons, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is considering running for the vice presidency, perhaps as Prabowo’s running mate.

Gibran is 36 years old and currently serving as the mayor of Surakarta city. While the court’s decision allows Gibran to run, he has not publicly expressed interest in the elections.

Indonesia has a history of political dynasties, with previous leaders having familial connections in politics.

One such case is Megawati Sukarnoputri, who became the country’s first female president and is the daughter of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. Prabowo is also the former son-in-law of Indonesia’s late dictator, Suharto.

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