Indonesian court overturns Widodo’s reform drive

JAKARTA – In a major setback for President Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has declared his landmark Job Creation Omnibus Law partially unconstitutional and in doing so appears to be establishing itself as a backstop in a political system devoid of an effective opposition.

Taking a leaf out of the US Supreme Court’s historic 1803 Marbury vs Madison case, five of the court’s nine justices decided that Widodo’s ruling coalition had ridden roughshod over the procedures laid down for drawing up a bulky law that had no precedent in Indonesian statues.

An unhappy Widodo said he would take immediate steps to rectify the mistakes, but in a statement issued three days later he took pains to stress the court’s ruling that the law and the implementing regulations issued so far remain intact and valid in the meantime. 

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