Rabu 08 Nov 2023 10:01 WIB

Head of Indonesian Constitutional Court Removed

The removal following inspection of a breach of the code of conduct.

Rep: Rizky Suryarandika, Febryan A, Nawir Arsyad Akbar, Eva Rianti/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Chairman of the Honorary Council of the Constitutional Court (MKMK) Jimly Asshiddiqie led the hearing at the Constitutional Court Building, Jakarta, Tuesday (7/11/2023).
Foto: Republika/Prayogi
Chairman of the Honorary Council of the Constitutional Court (MKMK) Jimly Asshiddiqie led the hearing at the Constitutional Court Building, Jakarta, Tuesday (7/11/2023).

JAKARTA — The frenzy that ensued following the Constitutional Court's (MK) ruling on a lawsuit over the minimum age limit for presidential candidates has ended. The Honorary Assembly of the Constitutional Court (MKMK) has issued its verdict. Anwar Usman was officially removed from the post of chairman of the Court because he was found to have committed a gross violation of the code of conduct.

“The reported judges were shown to have committed gross violations of the code of conduct and conduct of constitutional judges,” MKMK Chairman Jimly Asshiddiqie said while reading the verdict for the lawsuit against Anwar Usman on Tuesday (7/11/2023).

Baca Juga

Jimly explained that Anwar was judged to have violated the principles of impartiality, principles of integrity, prowess, independence, and propriety and decency. The verdict was one of five verdicts delivered by Jimly. “Secondly, sanction the dismissal from office of the chairman of the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Then, the third ruling was to order the deputy chairman of the Court within 2 x 24 hours from the moment the verdict was pronounced to lead the election of a new chairman of the Court in accordance with the legislation. “Four, the reported judge (Anwar Usman) is not entitled to run for office or be nominated as the head of the Constitutional Court until the term of the reported judge expires,” he said.

Fifth, reported judges may not be involved or involved in the examination and decision-making in disputes over the results of presidential and vice presidential elections, elections of members of the DPR, DPD, and DPRD, as well as elections of governors, regents, and mayors that have the potential for conflicts of interest.

In a different ruling, the MKMK sanctioned a verbal reprimand for constitutional judge Saldi Isra. Meanwhile, constitutional judge Arief Hidayat was sanctioned with a written reprimand.

Nevertheless, MKMK decided that it could not interfere in changing the Court's ruling on the age limit for vice-presidents, which allowed Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the son of President Joko Widodo, to get a ticket as vice president candidate. “The Honorary Assembly is not authorized to assess the ruling of the Constitutional Court, in casu Constitutional Court Ruling Number 90/PUU-XXI/2023,” Jimly said.

The MKMK also did not include Article 17 paragraph (6) and paragraph (7) of Law 48/2009 on judicial power in its judgment. The article concerning the independence of the judge in deciding matters concerning his family is not felt to be attached to the judge of the Court. “It cannot be enforced in the ruling on the case testing the law against the 1945 Constitution by the Constitutional Court,” Jimly said.

A member of Prabowo-Gibran's National Campaign Team (TKN), Hinca Panjaitan, said that the MKMK ruling had no impact on the Court's ruling. Therefore, he said, the registration of Prabowo-Gibran as a presidential candidate for the 2024 presidential election in KPU RI was not interrupted in anyway. “We inform all Indonesians, there is no doubt in the slightest that the pair sailed well,” Hinca said

TKN Prabowo-Gibran also expressed views on the new lawsuit filed by Nahdlatul Ulama University students. In the lawsuit number 141/PUU-XXI/2023, students sued the Court's ruling number 90. He asked that only governors should be elected or vice president even if they are not yet 40 years old.

Gibran is known to be only 36 years old and is serving as mayor of Solo. According to Hinca, whatever the verdict on case number 141 would not affect Gibran's candidacy. “Because this case (number 141) relates to something else, which will apply to 2029. Thus, there is no longer any doubt in the community about the candidate partner Prabowo-Gibran,” the member of Parliament's Commission III (law) said.

“Our team made sure that the nomination process of Prabowo and Gibran went well, unaffected in any way by the MKMK ruling,” the Democratic Party politician said.

Gibran Rakabuming Raka greets supporters in front of the Indonesian KPU Building, Jakarta, Wednesday (25/10/2023). - (Republika/Putra M. Akbar)

Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD team stated that it would respect MKMK's verdict. Chairman of TPN Ganjar-Mahfud, Arsjad Rasyid, assessed the MKMK's ruling as affirming that the Indonesian constitution has been trampled by constitutional judges in dealing with cases regarding the minimum age of presidential candidates.

“The MKMK ruling confirms the gross violations committed by the judges of the Court in deciding the case of the age limit of the vice president. We appreciate the MKMK verdict that has declared Mr. Anwar Usman guilty and violated professional ethics,” Arsjad Rashid said.

Nevertheless, it is gratified that Anwar Usman in his position as a judge of the Court was prohibited from examining cases concerning disputes over election results. Because, if not, Arsjad said, there will be more and more interests accommodated by the brother-in-law of President Joko Widodo.

“MKMK has restored confidence in the Court. Hopefully the Court will be able to truly be the guardian of the constitution, the guardian of the constitution. Hopefully MK can be the hope of all of us in guaranteeing honest and fair elections and presidential elections,” Arsjad said. 

The spokesman for Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar, Surya Tjandra, also responded to the MKMK ruling. Surya said that he appreciated the MKMK ruling because indeed the number 90 ruling was problematic from the beginning.

According to Surya, all disputes in the Court stemmed from Prabowo Subianto's distrust to advance to the 2024 presidential election without the support of President Jokowi. “So (Prabowo) has to force himself to take his biological son as vice president even if he has to change the existing law through the Court,” Surya said.

Surya argues that with all the disputes that have arisen, Prabowo should have taken a firm stance by removing Gibran from the position of vice president. However, Surya wasn't sure Prabowo had the guts.

“If he is a man, Mr. Prabowo should change his vice president immediately, but I am not sure that he will dare to do so, yes. Without the support of the President, it is not necessarily that Mr. Prabowo will feel able to compete well in the face of other elections,” he said

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