The Jakarta Post
There was no fairy-tale ending to Aceng Fikri’s brief romance as he was officially dismissed from his post as Garut regent by presidential decree on Monday.
Deputy Regent Agus Hamdani is to take over as interim regent until early 2014.
The decree was handed to Aceng by West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan at the Gedung Sate gubernatorial office in Bandung on Monday.
Earlier, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had approved Aceng’s dismissal from his position as regent through Presidential Decree No. 17/P/2013 dated Feb. 20.
The President’s approval was the final step in the lengthy process set forth by the 2004 Law on Regional Administrations to impeach Aceng, following his unregistered Islamic marriage to a 17-year-old girl, identified only as FO.
Aceng caused national uproar in November when it was revealed that he had divorced FO by text message four days after their marriage, saying he was disappointed to learn that she was not a virgin, as he had been led to believe.
He married FO while he was still married to Nurrohimah, with whom he has three children. The marriage was undertaken without the approval of his first wife as required by the Marriage Law.
Child protection activists also alleged that Aceng had breached the Child Protection Law, which stipulates that anyone below the age of 18 is considered a minor.
He also violated the law on regional administrations that says that Aceng, as a leader, should act according to the oath of office and the code of ethics.
Aceng is the first regional head in Indonesia to have been dismissed for breaching the code of ethics.
Regarding the decision, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi issued a letter to Heryawan stating that should a regional head be dismissed, he should be replaced by his deputy until the end of the term of office.
“The decision is implemented based on a plenary session,” Gamawan wrote in the letter.
Heryawan has urged every stakeholder in Garut to maintain order for the sake of the ongoing development of the regency.
In response to his dismissal, Aceng said he would not appeal his dismissal.
“Today, the constitution has been followed according to procedures,” said Aceng, adding that he would dedicate himself to his native place.
Aceng, who was elected regent as an independent candidate in 2009, said he was open to any offers should any political party ask him to participate in the 2014 regental election.
“Give me a chance to rest and pay attention to my family, after that, God willing, if the people want me, I will run again in the upcoming election,” said Aceng.
Separately, Garut regency council ( DPRD ) deputy speaker Lucky Lukmansyah Trenggana said a plenary session of the council would likely be held this week.
In the plenary session, the DPRD will appoint Agus, nominated by the United Development Party ( PPP ), as acting regent.