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 Jokowi Not Amused by Governing Coalition’s ‘Shadow House’

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BerichtOnderwerp: Jokowi Not Amused by Governing Coalition’s ‘Shadow House’   za 1 nov 2014 - 2:31

The Jakarta Globe, Oct 31, 2014

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has deplored his five-party coalition’s bid to appoint its own speaker and deputy speakers of the House of Representatives, after it was shut out from the key posts by the majority opposition.

“It’s much better for everyone to unite,” the president said after Friday noon prayers at the State Palace in Central Jakarta. “We need to maintain unity to set an example for the people.”

Joko’s Awesome Indonesia coalition, or KIH, which has 44 seats at the House, earlier on Friday held its own version of a plenary session to pick a speaker and four deputy speakers, in a move it said was meant to be a motion of no confidence in the House dominated by the Red-White coalition, or KMP.

The move by the KIH, led by Joko’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, has been widely panned not just by the opposition, but also observers and officials from some of the parties involved.

Analysts argue that the only reason the KIH did not get any of the leadership seats during a House plenary session earlier this month was that all of its members walked out of the vote, and that to lash out now by naming shadow speakers is futile.

“The way I see it, both coalitions are acting like hicks,” said Zainal Arifin Mochtar, an expert in state administrative law at Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University.

“Both of them are prioritizing positions, power and their owned interests over those of the people and the country,” he said.

Rather than appoint its own unsanctioned speakers, Zainal said, the KIH should have taken other steps available to it to redress the balance of power in the House, including pushing for a change to the House’s protocols for choosing its leaders or submitting amendments to the law on legislatures.

The seriousness of the “shadow House” has also been played down by Jimly Asshiddiqie, a former chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

“There’s only one [House leadership] that’s legitimate,” he said as quoted by, writing off the KIH’s action as simply an angry reaction to being denied any leadership posts in the House.

Refly Harun, a state administrative law expert, also pointed out that the KIH’s speaker and deputy speakers would never be recognized as legitimate.

“Even if they were to be sworn in by the Supreme Court it would still be wrong,” he told Tempo.

Agus Hermanto, one of the legitimate deputy speakers, said he was convinced that the president would only recognize the true House leadership under Speaker Setya Novanto.

“There’s no basis for this shadow House leadership, no legal legitimacy,” he said.

Fadli Zon, another deputy speaker, agreed that the KIH’s move was illegal and unconstitutional, and accused the coalition of “clowning around.”

“We don’t really care what they do. We going to remain solid,” he said. “What they call their meeting today was illegal. It never happened. They were just clowning around. They violated [the House’s code of ethics], for which we’ll take them to the House Ethics Council.”

The KIH named Effendy Simbolon of the PDI-P as its shadow House speaker on Friday. The “deputy speakers” are Ida Fauziyah of the National Awakening Party (PKB); Syaifulah Tamliha of the United Development Party (PPP); Supriadi of the National Democrat Party (NasDem); and Dossy Iskandar of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).

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