Jokowi Inaugurates Two PDI-P Members to Constitutional Court


JANUARY 07, 2015

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo inaugurated a Balinese law professor from his own political party on Wednesday to a vacant seat on Indonesia's beleaguered Constitutional Court.

I Dewa Gede Palguna, a law professor from Udayana University in Bali, was appointed the new Constitutional Court justice to replace Hamdan Zoelva, the court's chief justice.

Hamdan withdrew his application for re-selection to the court, the highest court of appeal on legal disputes relating to Indonesia's written constitution, without giving a specific reason.

He was selected as the court's chief justice during an unprecedented period of crisis at the court, after his predecessor, Akil Mochtar, was arrested in an anti-graft sting and subsequently jailed for life for selling the court's verdicts to the highest bidder.

Hamdan was required to attend a selection interview in December by the court's selection committee. He declined to attend the interview, however, saying he had already met the requirement by complying with a selection interview before he originally joined the bench.

Joko also inaugurated Suhartoyo, whom is another member of Joko's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), to the Constitutional Court. A former Supreme Court justice, Suhartoyo replaces outgoing justice Ahmad Fadhil Sumadi.

Both Palguna and Suhardoyo met with the court's selection committee and were given a clean bill of health.

The PDI-P welcomed the appointments of Palguna and Suhartoyo.

"Both new judges are expected to revive the dignity of the Constitutional Court, which has been torn apart because of the [cash for verdicts] perpetrated by Akil Mochtar," PDIP secretary general Hasto Kristiyanto said on Wednesday.