Constitutional Court appears convinced Jokowi meddled in election: Amnesty

Source – April 5, 2024
Former Constitutional Court chief justice Arief Hidayat – Undated (CNN)

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid says that the Constitutional Court seems very confident that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had cawe-cawe (meddled) or interfered in the 2024 presidential election (Pilpres).

Hamid conveyed this in response to Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat's statement which touched on Widodo's cawe-cawe during a presidential election dispute hearing at the Constitutional Court building in Central Jakarta on Friday April 5.

Hamid generalised that Hidayat's views represented the other Constitutional Court judges on the issue of Widodo's cawe-cawe.

"I think from Pak [Mr] Arief Hidayat's view, the views of the judges are at least represented by Pak Arief Hidayat who is convinced that there was cawe-cawe by the president", said Hamid during the Kompas Afternoon show on Kompas TV on Friday afternoon.

Hamid believes that Hidayat's views were also in line with the testimonies of a number of experts who were presented at the hearings over the last few days.

Hamid said that earlier expert witnesses had explicitly stated the problem of Widodo's cawe-cawe in influencing the course of the 2024 presidential election.

According to Hamid, Widodo's interference directly benefited his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who was running as Prabowo Subianto's vice presidential candidate. "So that it benefited his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka", he said.

Earlier, Hidayat said that four ministers from Widodo's Onward Indonesia Cabinet were summoned by the Constitutional Court to testify during the election dispute hearings because the court felt it would be inappropriate to summon Widodo.

The ministers spoke about the distribution of social assistance (bansos) that was raised in the lawsuit by the two loosing presidential tickets of Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar and Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD, which they argued was politicised to ensure victory for the Prabowo-Gibran ticket.

"There was more commotion in this Pilpres, followed by several very specific things that were very different from the 2014 and 2019 presidential elections. There were ethical violations committed by the Constitutional Court, the KPU (General Elections Commission), and many more which caused the commotion", said Hidayat.

"The main thing that has received widespread attention and is argued by the plaintiff is the cawe-cawe by the head of state. The cawe-cawe by the head of state, this court also (considered), whether we would summon the President of the Republic of Indonesia, [but] this would not be very elegant", said the former chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

Arief then emphasised that Widodo is both head of state and head of government. If supposing Widodo's status was only the head of government, according to Hidayat, the court would have summoned him to testify.

However, because the father of the vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka also has the status of head of state, the Constitutional Court believes that Widodo must be held in the highest esteem by all stakeholders.

"So we summoned his assistants, who are related to the plaintiff's argument", said Hidayat.

"Because it's like this. The plaintiff's argument stating that the presidential institution was bias and President Joko Widodo's support in the Pilpres. This then gives rise to several things", he reiterated.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Usman Hamid Sebut MK Tampak Yakin Jokowi "Cawe-cawe" di Pilpres".]