General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman, center, embraces Denny Indrayana, an attorney for Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Sandiaga Uno, while KPU commissioner Hasyim Asyari looks on, during a recess at the Constitutional Court in Central Jakarta on Friday. (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Stop Casting Doubt on Constitutional Court's Impartiality, Legal Expert Says


JUNE 25, 2019

Jakarta. A prominent expert on constitutional law has called on all parties involved in the ongoing dispute of the result of the 2019 presidential election to stop assuming or giving the impression that the Constitutional Court supports or sides with a certain candidate pair.

The court has been hearing the dispute filed by the legal team of defeated presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno against the result of the April 17 presidential election. The result, which the General Elections Commission (KPU) announced on May 21, showed a clear win for the incumbent, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin.

Bivitri Susanti, co-founder of the Center for Indonesian Law and Policy Studies (PSHK), said all parties must accept the Constitutional Court's verdict, whatever it may be.

"So there is no need to paint the Constitutional Court as an institution that supports a particular incumbent or candidate pair," Bivitri said during a discussion in Jakarta on Sunday.

She said the trial process has shown the judges to be very independent, professional and neutral. All parties in the dispute were also given equal opportunities to state their cases.

"There are no Constitutional Court judges who seem to side with a certain candidate pair. Maybe they are firm because they really want to explore what witnesses saw, heard and know, so they can get material truths," she said.

Bivitri said the Prabowo camp had previously cast doubt on Indonesia's highest court and that this was detrimental to the country's legal system.

"Let's guard the credibility of our judicial institutions together, especially the Constitutional Court. Do not let our framing damage public confidence in the court. The court has been open and transparent in the trial process; we will also see that transparency in its verdict later," she said.

The court indicated on Monday that it would issue a ruling on Thursday – a day early.

The judges are attending a judicial consultative meeting from Monday to Wednesday to discuss all matters related to the case.