Unresolved fight on Indonesia’s House of Representatives posts threatens corruption screening

Unresolved fight on Indonesia’s House of Representatives posts threatens corruption screening

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is calling on factions of political parties at the House of Representatives to put off the final interview to select a new Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) deputy chairman until the House completes the deliberation of the Legislative Institutions (MD3) Law.

The leader of the House’s pro-government caucus, the Great Indonesia Coalition, considers that all House factions should prioritise the deliberation of the law amendment as stipulated in a recent peace deal to end power struggles in the legislative institution.

“We will not attend any meetings at the House, including the [KPK final interview], until the amendment [of the MD3 Law] is accomplished,” said PDI-P lawmaker Trimedya Panjaitan, who is also a member of House Commission III overseeing law and human rights, which has been tasked with conducting the final interview.

He emphasised that the PDI-P, as well as other coalition member parties, would not change its stance until the peace agreement was fully completed.

“I strongly encourage our friends from the Red-and-White Coalition to comply with the agreement in order to allow all factions to participate in such an important selection. Let’s not let the feud between us put the KPK at stake by forcing the screening,” he added.

The government has named two final candidates to fill the position of KPK deputy chairman after incumbent Busyro Muqoddas’ term ends this month.

The two candidates that will undertake the final interview are Busyro himself, who has run for another term, and Robby Arya Brata, an academic and former staff member at the Cabinet Secretariat.

According to the peace pact signed by negotiators from the Great Indonesia Coalition and opposition Red-and-White Coalition last month, the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) will amend the MD3 Law by Dec. 5, a condition to be fulfilled before lawmakers from party factions within the Great Indonesia Coalition attend all meetings at the legislative institution.

Baleg had yet to complete the law deliberation as of Tuesday, three days away from the deadline, as lawmakers bickered over technicalities.

Commission III announced the schedule for the test last Monday after it conducted several hearing with related officials, including KPK leaders, to seek input on the matter.

The hearing decided that it was important to hold the final interview to prevent legal uncertainty surrounding the KPK leadership after the end of Busyro’s term.

No lawmakers from the PDI-P or coalition partner the National Awakening Party (PKB) were seen at the hearings that have been taking place since last week.

But unlike the PDI-P and PKB, lawmakers from other factions of the pro-government bloc, including from the NasDem Party, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Hanura Party, attended some of the hearings.

Deputy chairman Benny Kabur Harman said that Commission III had agreed to conduct the final interview on Wednesday regardless of the presence of lawmakers from the PDI-P and the PKB.

“It is their political choice whether or not to attend. We have a schedule and we will stick to it,” said Benny from the Democratic Party, which belongs to the opposition group.

Benny added that Commission III would announce the final decision on the same day.

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