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House accused of wanting to diminish top courts authority through law revision

CNN Indonesia - May 15, 2024

Jakarta – Forum of Concerned Citizens for Indonesia's Parliament (Formappi) researcher Lucius Karus believes that the House of Representatives (DPR) is seeking to diminish the role of the Constitutional Court (MK) through revisions to the Constitutional Court Law, which are now only waiting to be enacted at a DPR plenary meeting.

"What stands out from the DPR's tendencies is a position of wanting to diminish [the role of] the Constitutional Court", Karus told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday May 14.

Karus suspects that the revisions to the law are a sign that the people's representatives want to find a way to control the Constitutional Court legally.

He believes that the efforts by the DPR are because it does not feel comfortable with the Constitutional Court's authority which has often totally destroyed legislation produced by the DPR.

The DPR and the political parties, he continued, have also been made uncomfortable by the Constitutional Court's authority that can tinker with election results.

"The MK's great authority exceeds the authority of the DPR. The anxiety because they feel they are beneath the MK is making the DPR seek a way to control the MK legally", he said.

"It's as if the DPR wants to say that the MK's authority to tinker with laws made by the DPR cannot be allowed to continue and because of this is reigning in the fortunes of the judges by revising the law that must be done", Karus added.

Karus also believes that it is as if the DPR does not care about strengthening the Constitutional Court as an institution because it has often revised the Constitutional Court law.

He believes that as a result of these revisions to the law, in the future the Constitutional Court will make more frequent "magical" rulings such as the one on the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates, which opened the way for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son to run as a vice presidential candidate in the February elections.

"That's why with every revision to the MK Law, the impression is they want to punish or appreciate the MK judges who are in office. An MK that makes these magical rulings is the MK that is indeed the object of the DPR through revisions to the law that wants to make the MK uncomfortable", he said.

Earlier, the DPR Commission III working committee (Panja) on the Draft Constitutional Court Law secretly held a level one meeting and agreed that the bill be taken to the second level and passed into law.The working meeting was held during a House recess period on Monday May 13, or a day before the opening of the fifth sitting period.

There are at least four crucial points in the Constitutional Court bill. Included among these are age limits on Constitutional Court judges, mechanisms for the dismissal and evaluation of constitutional judges and on the composition of the Constitutional Court Honorary Council (MKMK).

In the draft law there is also an additional article, namely Article 23A, which regulates the evaluation of Constitutional Court judges. The article states that the judge can only serve for 10-15 years and shall be evaluated every five years.

And every five years, Constitutional Court Judge must seek approval from their appointing institution, namely the president, the DPR and the Supreme Court, in order to continue serving on the bench. (rzr/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Formappi: DPR Ingin Kerdilkan MK Lewat Revisi UU".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240515062559-32-1097707/formappi-dpr-ingin-kerdilkan-mk-lewat-revisi-u