Constitutional Court chief denies alleged ethics violation
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post
Constitutional Court (MK) chief justice Arief Hidayat has denied allegations that he has committed an ethics violation by reportedly lobbying the House of Representatives for an extension of his term in office.
Media reports suggested Arief had tried to influence several members of the House of Representatives’ Commission III, which oversees legal affairs, regarding his bid to keep his position at the MK. Arief, whose tenure ends in April next year, was the sole candidate to undergo a fit and proper test for the post at the commission on Wednesday.
Arief admitted that he had met several lawmakers of the commission at a hotel in Jakarta in what he said was an official meeting. The lawmakers had invited him to arrange the schedule for the test for his nomination, Arief claimed, adding that he had also acquired a permit for the meeting from the MK’s ethics council.
“The ethics council knew the entire process [and] that I was nominated again as the court’s justice. So everything is clear. I didn’t do any lobbying,” he said at the House complex on Wednesday.
"The meeting was only to match my schedule with the agenda arranged by Commission III."
Arief and Commission III have come under fire over his sole nomination, which was deemed insufficiently transparent. There has also been speculation about backroom deal-making relating to the House’s controversial inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) under the 2014 Legislative Institutions Law ( MD3 ), a judicial review of which is currently being conducted by the court.
The ethics council has announced it will question Arief on Thursday over the alleged ethics violations. (rin)
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