A former Jakarta governor and chairman of the
Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI), Lt. Gen. (ret) Sutiyoso, said on Friday that the recent Constitutional Court ruling on the presidential
threshold was regrettable, saying it denied the constitutional rights of
presidential hopefuls from smaller parties.
The court ruled on Thursday to reject the petition filed by former
law and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra, who is also the Crescent
Star Party’s (PBB) chief patron and presidential aspirant, challenging the
presidential threshold set under the 2008 Presidential Election Law.
The court stated that the requirement
for political parties to win 20 percent of House of Representatives seats or 25
percent of the popular vote in the legislative election to field a pair of
presidential and vice presidential candidates did not contradict the 1945
Constitution and, thus, had to be upheld.
“It was unfortunate that Yusril’s fight
eventually failed,” Sutiyoso told The
Jakarta Post. “I truly supported his efforts.”
Sutiyoso said that his hope to run for
president, at least for this year, was dashed. “Let’s just be realistic,” he
said, suggesting that his party would not surpass the threshold in the April 9
“Such a threshold is an obvious attempt
to prevent figures like me from running. Instead, people are directed to choose
candidates from larger parties but who are not necessarily capable. Parties can
be small in terms of votes but they may have more capable figures for
nomination,” Sutiyoso said.
He added that the ruling had prompted
the PKPI to seek an alliance with other parties for July’s presidential race.
With the party’s target of “only” 5 percent of the vote, it is likely that the
PKPI will be a minor member in the alliance, hindering it from proposing a
figure to be nominated as the coalition’s presidential or vice-presidential
“We have begun talking with other
parties, including Islamic ones. But only after the legislative election can we
tell you with which parties we will align ourselves with,” he said.
Yusril meanwhile, angered by the
ruling, accused the court of being “scared”.
“However, it is not a problem for me.
What’s important is that I have warned them, through my petition, about the
constitutional problem facing the next president,” Yusril said after the