Disputes erupted ahead of a plenary meeting of regional councilors in Jakarta on Monday (03/04) over the legitimacy of the council’s leadership following a recent court ruling.
Last month, the Supreme Court revoked a Regional Representatives Council (DPD) regulation from January that tried to extend leadership terms to five years. The Supreme Court ruling reinstated two and half year terms for council heads.
Monday’s meeting was set to discuss that ruling, which has since divided regional councilors, and altercations subsequently erupted ahead of the meeting over who should lead.
Proponents of the court ruling raised objections as council leaders GKR Hemas and Farouk Muhammad, whose terms should have ended on Saturday according to February’s ruling, were about to take the podium.
East Java councilor Marwardi came to the podium and read out January’s regulation, which was signed by Hemas and Farouk. This eventually led other councilors to jostle with each other to occupy the podium.
February’s ruling was in favor of ten councilors who said they suffered from January’s regulation. In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the DPD regulation ran contrary to the 2014 law on legislative institutions.