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Jakarta Post

Jokowi refuses to sign MD3 law

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 15, 2018   /   06:20 am
Jokowi refuses to sign MD3 law President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (left) chats with Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) matron Megawati Soekarnoputri following the installment of state officials at the State Palace in Jakarta in this Jan. 17 file photo. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

After huffing and puffing over the past few weeks, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has decided not to sign the new Legislative Institution (MD3) Law, citing public unrest over controversial articles in the revised law as his main concern.

The President's final stance was announced on Wednesday 30 days after the House of Representatives passed the MD3 bill on Feb. 12 meaning that the law will go into effect automatically as a month has passed since then.

"I understand and I know that [] the law will remain valid even without my signature. Therefore, to solve the issue, the public is welcomed to file a judicial review with the Constitutional Court," Jokowi said.

Jokowi made his decision after mulling over several options, including a possibility to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revise several controversial provisions that critics said practically granted legal immunity for lawmakers, while others silenced public criticism.

When asked why Jokowi did not choose to issue a Perppu, he maintained that the mechanism was to challenge the law to the Constitutional Court. "[Besides] a Perppu still needs the approval of the House," he said.

Critics have also thrown the blame on Jokowi, saying the President had "missed" spotting the controversies during the revision process, given that all legislative products are based on deliberations between the House and the government.

The President admitted that Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who represented the government, did not report to him when the deliberation of the bill took place and only had the chance to report after it was passed.

"I acknowledge that the situation [during the deliberation] was full of dynamics and was fast, so it was not possible for [Yasonna] to report to me," Jokowi said. (dmr)