Regent, deputy regent inaugurated at prison
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After having been delayed for six months, the inauguration of Khamanik as new Mesuji regent was held on Friday but the swearing-in ceremony took place at a prison, as deputy regent elect Ismail Ishak was serving a year behind bars for graft.
The ceremony was led by Lampung Governor Sjachroedin Z.P., in proxy for Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi at the Bawang Latak detention center in Menggala, Tulangbawang regency.
Khamanik and Ismail were elected in September 2011 but the latter’s legal case in which he was convicted for fund embezzlement in 2006 caused their inauguration to stall.
Military troops were among the 750-strong security personnel guarding the ceremony.
Scores of them were seen on standby at the intersection between the Sumatra trans eastern and east coast highways, around 500 meters from the Bawang Latak detention center.
In his keynote speech, Sjachroedin said he expected the new regent to seriously address issues on land disputes in the regency.
“This is an inauguration without a plenary session, or prior approval from the Lampung legislature. It is unusual. Normally, an inauguration is carried out in a plenary session at the legislature. Today, the principle of discretion has been used,” he said.
According to Sjachroedin, discretion was to ensure legal certainty.
“The condition in Mesuji cannot drag on. The polemics should be ended, especially as the Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of Khamanik-Ismail as winners,” said Sjachroedin.
Sjachroedin conveyed a message from Gamawan that Khamanik, as the new regent, should immediately consolidate and reconcile with the Mesuji regency council and organize the regional working unit (SKPD).
“The rapport with the legislature must be improved. The SKPD, which has been less efficient thus far, must be improved,” Sjachroedin quoted Gamawan as saying in his message.
Khamanik faces daunting tasks alone as Ismail must serve out his year in jail.
Without his deputy, Khamanik must resolve the Register 45 land dispute case, the conflict between farmers and PT Barat Selatan Makmur Investindo (PT BSMI), opposition from some legislators and the consolidation of the SKPD.
The Khamanik-Ismail pairing, nominated by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and the National Democratic Party, gained 39.75 percent of the ballot on Sept. 29, 2011.
On Nov. 15, 2011, the Menggala District Court sentenced Ismail to a year for providing capital shares from the regency budget at PT Tulangbawang Jaya in 2000.
Former Mesuji joint fact-finding team member H.S. Tisnanta said Khamanik had the influence to resolve the Register 45 and PT BSMI conflicts which have become a national interest.
List of convicted regional officials sworn in
- Jefferson SM Rumajar /Tomohon mayor. Sentenced: May 10, 2011 , 9 years, fined Rp 200m. Sworn in: January 2011 by Governor Sinyo Sarundajang
- Yusak Yaluwo / Boven Digul regent. Sentenced: Nov. 2, 2010 , 4.5 years, fined Rp 200m. Sworn in: March 2011 by Governor Barnabas Suebu and Rp 45.7b as restitution
- Agusrin Najamuddin / suspended Bengkulu regent Jan. Sentenced: Jan 10, 2012, 4 years, fined Rp 200m Sworn in: Nov. 29, 2010,
- Ismail Ishak / Mesuji deputy regent. Sentenced: Nov. 15, 2011, 1 year, fined Rp 396m. Sworn in: April 13, 2012, by Governor Sjachroedin Z.P.
Source: The Jakarta Post