Last week, 226 lawmakers put an end to the direct election of governors, mayors and regents. The new Regional Elections (Pilkada) Law will authorize legislative bodies to nominate and select the candidates for local leaders. Gone are the days when the people were directly involved in the election process. Gone are the days when independent candidates had an equal chance to compete with party-backed hopefuls.
It would have been the usual Wednesday to Thursday day-changing in October if the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had not busted Constitutional Court (MK) Chief Justice Akil Mochtar for allegedly accepting Rp 3 billion in bribes.
The arrest changed many things. The midnight raid badly hurt the country’s trust on the court and added the latest debacle to Indonesian judicial system. On a serious note, Akil’s corruption allegation brought concerns on the court’s verdicts on at least 10 regional election disputes. We must pay attention to the more urgent matter: the court’s impartiality and preparedness to face numerous disputes in the upcoming general election this year.