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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Focus on the Constitution

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 26 2011   /  07:00 am

The recent election of a new Constitutional Court chairman saw little of the interest or fanfare typical to Indonesian politics, as incumbent chief Mahfud MD was predictably re-elected to serve another term until August 2014.

Mahfud won five of the nine court judges’ votes, beating judges Hardjono (two votes) and Hamdan Zulva (one vote).

After his re-election, Mahfud said, “We want to make the court more assertive and independent. We won’t be deterred by criticism so long as our decisions are in the interest of the public as well.”

The 54-year-old law expert, who was first elected as a Constitutional Court judge in 2008, is probably one of the most popular figures in the country. He is down to earth and his courage is well known to alter laws deemed inconsistent with the 1945 Constitution and defended by the political elites.

The former National Awa...