Saldi Isra hopes to bring change as youngest constitutional court justice
The Jakarta Post
Newly inaugurated Constitutional Court (MK) Justice Saldi Isra signed an integrity pact at his new office on Tuesday, vowing to step up efforts to restore the court’s reputation after multiple corruption allegations against previous justices tainted its standing in the eyes of the people.
Saldi, 48, previously a constitutional law professor at Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatra, said he has long had the ambition to become an MK justice, but hesitated to run because of his young age.
“But the situation has changed, thanks to the encouragement of several people,” he added, naming former Constitutional Court justice Mahfud MD as a great source of support.
“Mahfud told me that I should get out of my comfort zone. He pushed me to apply in Jakarta,” he said.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo appointed Saldi Isra as new Constitutional Court justice on Friday, officially replacing Patrialis Akbar who had been arrested on Jan. 26 on bribery charges.
Saldi was one of three candidates submitted by an independent team tasked with finding a successor for Patrialis, who is the second Constitutional Court justice to be arrested for bribery after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) caught former MK chief Akil Mochtar accepting bribes on Oct.2, 2013.
Chief Justice Arief Hidayat said he hoped Saldi could accelerate improvements within the Constitutional Court and regain the public’s trust.
“He can bring a younger voice [to the court]; they are usually better heard than the older ones,” he said. (dis)
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