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Former chief justice Anwar Usman sues successor

Jakarta Globe - November 24, 2023

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Anwar Usman, a Constitutional Court Judge ousted from his position as chief justice due to a controversial ruling favoring the president's son, initiated legal action against his successor, Chief Justice Suhartoyo, on Friday.

While the specifics of the lawsuit filed with the State Administrative Court (PTUN) remain undisclosed, Anwar had previously voiced objections to his sudden removal and the appointment of Suhartoyo.

Anwar faced removal as chief justice by the Constitutional Court's Honor Council after on October 16 he presided over a hearing that paved the way for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son to qualify as a vice-presidential candidate.

The Honor Council found him guilty of a serious breach of ethical conduct as a judge, citing his familial ties with the president, which could have warranted his recusal during the court hearing regarding an amendment to the age limit for presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Constitutional Court Judge Enny Nurbaningsih confirmed that the court plans to convene on Monday to formulate a response to the lawsuit.

"In light of this development, we will hold a meeting among judges to provide a response on Monday," Enny told reporters in Jakarta.

Earlier this week, Enny revealed Anwar's objections to his removal as chief justice and the appointment of his replacement.

In response, the remaining justices of the nine-member court convened, clarifying that Suhartoyo's appointment as the new chief justice adhered to the Honor Council's decision and was a result of a vote in which Anwar participated.

The succession also adheres to existing regulations governing the Constitutional Court. "The formal response has been conveyed to His Honor Anwar Usman," Enny added.

The controversy arose when Jokowi's 36-year-old son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, initially fell short of the age requirement, set at 40 by the 2017 general elections law.

However, in a narrow vote of 5 to 4, the justices introduced an amendment, stating that a candidate "must be at least 40 years old or must have served or be serving in a public position through general elections, including regional government leader elections."

Consequently, Gibran, currently the elected mayor of Solo, became eligible, subsequently being selected as a running mate for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/former-chief-justice-anwar-usman-sues-successo