The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's (PDI-P) attempt to secure the House speaker post has collapsed with the Constitutional Court's (MK) rejection of its judicial review request.
On Monday, seven Constitutional Court justices, including Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva, rejected a request to review a number of articles of Legislative Institution Law No. 17/2014, which went into effect in July 2014.
The judicial review of the law, which is known as the MD3 Law, was filed by the PDI-P, which was represented by its chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo.
During Monday's hearing, Constitutional Court justice Aswanto said that the 1945 Constitution did not specifically regulate the best mechanism for determining the House speaker.
'We do not apply the parliamentary system, where a House speaker should come from the winner of the legislative election. The mechanism to choose the house speaker is up to the lawmakers to decide,' he said.
He added that he questioned why the PDI-P had filed the judicial review of the MD3 as it had been a part of the law's deliberation in the House of Representatives.
'The law was transparently discussed in the House and the court is sure that the PDI-P, as the judicial review applicant, was also involved in that process,' Aswanto said.
The PDI-P, which won the most seats in the April legislative election, challenged the mechanism established by the MD3 Law that strips the majority party in the House of the right to appoint the speaker, allowing the House to choose the speaker through a vote.
The PDI-P demanded that the court scrap this provision, along with six others that established similar voting mechanisms for deputy speakers, leaders of the House's 11 commissions and other House bodies.
The articles challenged by the PDI-P were Article 84 on House speaker seat, Article 97 on commission heads, Article 104 on legislation body head, Article 109 on budget body head, Article 115 on House inter-parliamentary body, Article 121 on House honor tribunal head, Article 152 on head of committee in charge of household affairs and inquiry committee head.
Commenting on the verdict, Constitutional Court justice Maria Farida said that political parties should keep in mind that the MP3 was not a political tool and should be implemented to serve the interests of the people.
'The MD3 Law should have been drafted and passed long before the legislative election. This law replaced the previous Legislative Institutions Law when there was no urgent reason to do so. I believe the judicial review should have been granted,' said Maria Farida, who issued a dissenting opinion.
Also on Monday, the court partially granted a separate judicial review request filed by, among other complainants, PDI-P lawmaker Rieke Diah Pitaloka and a politician from the National Awakening Party (PKB), Khofifah Indar Parawansa.
The applicants challenged the law, which they said failed to accommodate gender-based affirmative action.
'Gender-based affirmative action is a serious attempt to ensure that women are proportionately represented in the House of Representatives,' Constitutional Court justice Wahiduddin Adams said.
With the court's decision, a number of positions, including the leadership of House commissions and the budget committee, must take equal representation from female lawmakers into consideration.
Separately, PDI-P senior politician Effendi Simbolon said that the party could still win the House leadership race.
Effendi said that the PDI-P could still strike a deal with political parties from the rival camp. 'There's a big chance that the Democratic Party and the PPP [United Development Party will join our coalition,' he said.
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