Govt urged to revoke political rights of ex-graft convicts, corruption suspects
Elly Burhaini Faizal
The Jakarta Post
A legal and political expert has said ex-graft convicts and corruption suspects should not be allowed to run in local elections and if necessary, the government should revoke their political rights for life.
“An ex-graft convict may have served a sentence of five to seven years in prison but that’s only physical punishment,” said Ray Rangkuti, director of election watchdog Indonesian Civil Society Circle (Lima), in a recent discussion in Jakarta.
He was speaking in response to the House of Representatives’ plan to revise the 2015 Regional Elections Law to allow former convicts to run in local elections. The Constitutional Court approved the submission of a request for a judicial review into the law last July.
“If someone abuses their power for personal interests, the government should revoke his or her political rights. In this way, an ex-graft convict cannot run for a regional leader post in the future,” said Ray.
Indonesia held simultaneous regional elections in 269 regions for the first time at the end of last year. At least one ex-graft convict and one corruption suspect won local elections in their respective regions.
Candidate pair Hamid Rizal and Ngesti Yuni Suprapti emerged victorious Natuna, Riau Islands, even though the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced Hamid in 2010 to three years in prison for his involvement in a graft case relating to the oil and gas industry in 2004, which caused around Rp 77 billion (US$5.85 million) in state losses.
Meanwhile, in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) incumbent candidate for the Sabu Raijua regent position Marthen Dira Tome and his running mate, Nikodemus Rihi Heke, also won the election despite Marthen being a suspect in a current Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) case for his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of Rp 59 billion in education funds at the province’s Education and Culture Agency in 2007. (vps/ebf)
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