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Gibran Rakabuming Raka

Indonesia judges reprimanded over ruling that allowed president’s son to run for VP

Indonesia judges reprimanded over ruling that allowed president’s son to run for VP
Vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka greets supporters as he leaves the election commission in Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 October 2023. The former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto and his running mate, President Joko Widodo's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, officially registered their candidacy to the election commission for the upcoming presidential election that will be held on 14 February 2024. EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM

JAKARTA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - An Indonesian judicial ethics panel reprimanded six Constitutional Court judges on Tuesday after finding they had violated an ethics code in a ruling last month that allowed President Joko Widodo's son to run for the vice presidency.

The panel was formed to probe the conduct of the court’s nine judges amid public outcry after they decided, just three days out from election registration, that a minimum age requirement of 40 need not apply to all candidates.

The ruling effectively gave Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 36, a green light to join the race as Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto’s running mate.

“The reported judges were found to have collectively violated the constitutional judges’ ethical behaviour code,” ethics panel chief Jimly Asshiddiqie said during an announcement on the panel’s findings.

The announcement was ongoing and the panel was due later on Tuesday to address complaints against three other judges, including Chief justice Anwar Usman, who is the president’s brother-in-law and Gibran’s uncle.

The ethics panel said the first six judges had violated the principals of decency and appropriateness because they had handled a case that had a potential conflict of interest for the chief justice.

Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, has faced accusations from critics that he may have interfered in the decision. He has declined to comment on the court ruling and the allegations.

The inclusion of Gibran was initially seen by some political experts as a boon for the campaign of Prabowo, a third-time presidential contender, allowing him potentially to tap into some of Jokowi’s huge support base.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia; Editing by Martin Petty)

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