Arief Hidayat, center, was re-elected as the chief justice of the Constitutional Court on Friday (14/07). (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Arief Hidayat Is Re-elected as Constitutional Court's Chief Justice

BY :YUSTINUS PAAT

JULY 14, 2017

Jakarta. Arief Hidayat, 61, was chosen the chief justice of the Constitutional Court, a judicial body that has the final say with regard to laws that may contradict the constitution, after nine court judges elected him by acclamation on Friday (14/07).

Arief will serve during the 2017-2020 term.

His inauguration ceremony at the Constitutional Court's building in Jakarta saw in attendance Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Speaker Oesman Sapta Odang, Supreme Court chief justice Hatta Ali, and Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) chairman Abhan.

The Constitutional Court, which is of the same legal standing as the Supreme Court, also has the final say in conflicts over the authority of state institutions, dissolution of political parties, and electoral disputes. A president may be impeached only by the court's ruling.

"The voting run in a harmony, without undermining the integrity and the independence of the judges," Arief told reporters in a press conference after the three-hour session that started at 08.30 a.m.

Arief, who assumed the position in 2015, is the fifth chief justice of the Constitutional Court. Legal practitioners have high hopes in the court, whose authority has lately been marred by several scandals.

Its previous chief justice, Patrialis Akbar, elected in 2013, was dismissed after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested him in a bribery case involving judicial review of a law on animal farming and health.

Another former chief justice, Akil Mochtar, was sentenced to life in prison in 2015, in an unrelated bribery case.

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