Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated Guntur Hamzah as the Constitutional Court (MK) Justice during a ceremony at the State Palace here, Wednesday.

Presidential Decision No. 114P of 2022 on the termination and appointment of Constitutional Court Justice is the legal basis of Hamzah's induction.

"By Allah, I swear that I will uphold the duty of a Constitutional justice to the best of my ability and justly, persevere to uphold the 1945 Constitution, and carry out the prevailing laws," Hamzah read his oath before the president at the ceremony.

After the inauguration, Hamzah appealed for support from all parties while refraining to comment about polemics regarding his appointment to replace the previous Constitutional justice, Aswanto, who was nominated by the House of Representatives (DPR RI) and whose term was not extended by his nominator.

"I appeal for all of your prayers, so I can perform my duty to the best of my ability," he remarked.

The new Constitutional justice said he would join his first court session right after his inauguration. He said that other MK justices had departed from the palace earlier to prepare for the session.

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Meanwhile, MK Chief Justice Anwar Usman also refrained to comment on Aswanto's appointment polemics, as he believes that the MK justices' public statement is delivered only through the court verdict.

He also said that the independence of MK justices depends on each judge.

"Every time the justice delivered their verdict, it always begins with the formula 'by justice based on the Almighty God,' so they are responsible directly to the God, apart from the people and the nation," Usman remarked.

At the DPR RI plenary session on September 29, 2022, the parliament's Commission III decided to not extend Aswanto's term in the Constitutional Court and replace him with Guntur Hamzah, the then secretary general of MK.

The decision to replace Aswanto became a polemic, as some members of the public believed that the parliament's decision was in violation of the 1945 Constitution assuring the independence of the judiciary and Law No. 7 of 2020 on Constitutional Court, particularly after Aswanto was known to be dishonourably discharged.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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