Constitution Court Decision: Indonesian Politics After 2024 General Election Ruling

Indonesian Politics State of Play after the Constitution Court Decision on the General Election 2024 Dispute

In the 2024 Indonesian presidential election, Prabowo-Gibran emerged victorious with 58.59% of the vote, according to the Election Commission (KPU). However, Anies-Muhaimin and Ganjar-Mahfud, the opposing candidates, contested the outcome, filing a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court. They allege various irregularities, including bias within election oversight bodies like the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) and the Honorary Council for General Election Organizers (DKPP). Additionally, they claim that government resources, such as social assistance funds (Bansos), were improperly used to sway the election in favour of Prabowo-Gibran, thus seeking re-election and aiming to disqualify Prabowo-Gibran from the race.

After a month-long proceeding in Court, the Constitutional Court denied all arguments and appeals from both Anies-Muhaimin and Ganjar-Mahfud on 22 April 2024, highlighting that all arguments were unreasonable according to the law. This decision reaffirmed Prabowo-Gibran as the official, legitimately elected President and Vice President. The Election Commission (KPU) will then subsequently reaffirm the Court’s decision and determine the election results on 24 April 2024.

This marks the conclusion of the election dispute mechanism in the country, with both opposing sides also making official concession remarks acknowledging the Court’s decision. Hence, this will be followed by the intensification of the political consolidation phase in Indonesia until the official inauguration of the President and Vice President in October 2024. Prabowo has also continuously expressed interest in forming a broad coalition government, inviting the losing side to join his administration, thereby maintaining the traditional supermajority coalition parties in Parliament.

The Prabowo-Gibran campaign’s coalition parties will be more transparent about their political demands. Golkar has even been vocal about seeking five ministerial seats in the cabinet, even before the Constitutional Court’s decision. Consequently, other parties with parliamentary seats, such as PAN and Demokrat, will begin expressing interest in specific posts or ministerial allocations. For example, Demokrat has signaled its desire for its Party Chairman, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY), to be considered for a coordinating minister position. Meanwhile, PAN’s consistent support for Prabowo in the past three elections strengthens its negotiating position. Additionally, prominent political figures from parties not entering parliament will also anticipate cabinet positions. Yuzril Ihza Mahendra, Chairman of the PBB Party and Head of Prabowo-Gibran’s legal team in the Constitutional Court, played a significant role in safeguarding the candidates’ legal processes. Fahri Hamzah, Deputy Chairman of the Gelora Party, has been a staunch and loyal supporter of Prabowo for years.

Other than the supporting parties within the Prabowo-Gibran coalition, the contending parties, such as the National Democrat (NasDem) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), may likely switch from their initial coalition to join the winning coalition. This was apparent when Surya Paloh, NasDem Party’s Chairman, extended a warm gesture towards Prabowo Subianto, welcoming him at the NasDem Tower in Jakarta after the official election results from the KPU were announced. Interestingly for PKB, a survey conducted by Indikator, an independent political survey agency, revealed that 64 percent of PKB supporters disagree with lawsuits in the Constitutional Court to revoke the Prabowo-Gibran nomination. This, coupled with the Party Chairman’s Muhaimin Iskandar, pragmatic approach to be consistently in the ruling government circle, may lead to a high possibility of joining the Prabowo-Gibran coalition. Meanwhile, PKS, another cadre-based Islamic party, remains in an ambiguous position for the next cabinet coalition. On the one hand, its base supporters have a strong overlap with Anies’ supporters, while on the other hand, PKS has also had a good relationship with Prabowo in the past. As for the PPP party, the likelihood of not entering the parliament would significantly reduce its bargaining position in the next cabinet, despite the interest of their elites in joining the next administration.

Meanwhile, the major contender Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is in a difficult situation. Despite PDI-P winning the legislative election race with a national vote percentage of 16.72%, several factors contribute to the party’s struggle to position itself in the upcoming government coalition. On one hand, the party has no issue with Prabowo Subianto, noting that Megawati and Prabowo were even running mates back in 2009. Nevertheless, PDI-P’s displeasure is directed toward President Joko Widodo, who is technically still their cadre. PDI-P consistently criticized and undermined the President for manipulating the election outcomes throughout the election process after the President signalled its preference to support Prabowo-Gibran pairs. This has complicated the situation, where PDI-P may seem to push Prabowo to choose whether he would lean toward the President, of which PDI-P may likely be outside the cabinet or choose PDIP party to join the coalition while sidelining Jokowi’s influence.

If the attempt to bridge the communication between Jokowi and Megawati fails, it is more likely that PDIP will be in the opposition camp. From Prabowo’s side, the selection of Gibran as VP candidate has brought significant votes toward this win, rallying Jokowi’s loyal supporters to vote. Meanwhile, from the PDIP side, their position of joining the cabinet will also be difficult. The Party Chairwoman has been in a long-standing feud with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Democratic Party’s co-founder and Supervisory Board Chairman, with whom PDI-P was always in opposition during SBY’s presidential tenure, and vice versa. Secondly, PDI-P’s relationship with NasDem has also not been smooth, tracing back to when NasDem proposed Anies Baswedan as its presidential candidate in 2022 and with the ministerial reshuffle from the NasDem Party.

While there has yet to be any official coalition composition for ministerial positions, the consideration of technocrats and non-party stakeholders for potential ministers would also be intensified. For instance, the likelihood of Sri Mulyani, the current Minister of Finance, not being considered in the next administration has brought up some potential names, such as Budi Gunadi Sadikin (BGS), the current Minister of Health; Kartika Wiroatmodjo, the Vice Minister of SOEs; Royke Tumilaar, the President Director of Bank BNI; and Chatib Basri, a Senior Economist and former Minister of Finance. Meanwhile, despite BGS’s major achievements in the health sector, the former Health Minister, Dr. Terawan Agus Putranto, well-known to have a close relationship with Prabowo, is also a strong candidate to retake this portfolio.

Overall, in the coming months ahead, Prabowo will be heavily occupied with building his cabinet coalition, accommodating the interests and demands of his campaign team coalition and former contenders, while also ensuring representation from his party, Gerindra, and technocrats to support him in the next administration.


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