House extends MK justice's tenure despite protests
The Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives has extended Arief Hidayat's term in office as Constitutional Court (MK) judge following a fit and proper test held on Wednesday at the House's Commission III, which oversees human rights, security and legal affairs.
Arief's term, which will end in April 2018, has been extended to 2023. Nine out of the 10 factions on the Committee agreed to the extension, while the Gerindra Party faction abstained.
"We will bring the recommendation to the plenary meeting to make it official," said Commission III deputy chairman Trimedya Panjaitan.
Arief is currently presiding over a hearing on a judicial review request on the House's inquiry rights against the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), raising the issue of a conflict of interest.
Arief was the sole candidate in the fit and proper test, which involved a panel of constitutional law experts.
Gerindra Party faction deputy head Desmond Junaidi Mahesa had voiced his strong objections to the test, saying that it should be delayed to allow other candidates to apply for the position.
"What is the point of a panel if there is only one candidate?" he said.
Despite the criticism, the test went on after the nine remaining factions all agreed on Arief as the sole candidate.
After the test, Arief expressed his gratitude for the extension.
"Alhamdulillah [God willing], I am once again entrusted with the position of constitutional judge," he said. "I will fully guard Indonesia's constitution to the best of my ability." (kmt/ebf)
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