Ichsan Ali, Jakarta – Constitutional Court Judge Suhartoyo was appointed as the chief justice on Thursday in an internal session which was conducted after predecessor Anwar Usman was removed for a serious breach of the ethical code.
Anwar was sanctioned by the court's Honor Council over the October 16 ruling that cleared the path for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to become a vice-presidential candidate.
Anwar is the president's brother-in-law.
"We have reached a consensus earlier in the day to appoint Mr. Suhartoyo as the new chief justice," fellow Constitutional Court judge Saldi Isra told reporters in Jakarta.
The closed-door session also agreed to retain Saldi as the deputy for the chief justice.
Saldi confirmed that all nine justices were present in the meeting and Suhartoyo's appointment was agreed without voting.
Suhartoyo, 64, has been serving as the Constitutional Court judge since January 7, 2015. The native of Yogyakarta holds a doctoral degree from Jayabaya University.
Anwar was barred from seeking reappointment for the chief justice as part of the sanctions by the Honor Council. He drew controversy after the court voted 5-4 to amend the election regulation that requires a presidential/vice-presidential candidate to be at least 40 years old.
Jokowi's 36-year-old son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, was initially ineligible to contest the election but the court added a phrase to the relevant article, 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."
Gibran, the elected mayor of Solo, became eligible, and soon afterward, he was selected as a running mate for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.
The Honor Council has confirmed that despite the sanctions against Anwar, the controversial ruling will stand for the February election.