The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's decision to select nine female experts for the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) commissioners selection team has won praise, with many saying the move could restore his credibility.
Defying speculation that he would pick legal experts who had served as legal counsel for graft suspects, Jokowi selected candidates that were mostly either professionals or scholars.
The move also appeared to be Jokowi's response to many of his critics who accused him of reneging on his campaign promise to step up the fight against graft, especially following his move to pick Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as National Police chief candidate, who was named a graft suspect by the KPK in January.
Jokowi said on Thursday that the KPK could play a role in building good governance and the selection of the nine members of the team could further lend credibility to the antigraft body.
The President said the team members, whose backgrounds ranged from law, economics and management, psychology, sociology and governance studies, would have the integrity and expertise to select new commissioners for the 2015-2020 batch.
'With these criteria [met by members of the selection team], I hope the [chosen] commissioners will strengthen the KPK and create a synergy in building a system of corruption prevention and eradication,' Jokowi told a press conference on Thursday morning.
Some of the more well-known members of the selection team are money laundering expert Yenti Garnasih, transparency activist Natalia Subagyo and Enny Nurbaningsih, the head of the National Law Development Agency, which is affiliated with the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
The team will work under the supervision of the State Secretariat, a departure from practices under Jokowi's predecessor, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who placed the selection team under the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
KPK commissioner Johan Budi applauded Jokowi's selections and reminded the team to remain independent.
Johan also expected that the team would select the best candidates for KPK commissioners given they had no ties to political parties.
'Without doubt, there will be political interests that could interfere with the selection process. Therefore, an independent and capable committee is urgently needed,' he said.
Former KPK commissioner Busyro Muqoddas said members of the selection team should be mentally prepared to deal with possible interventions and bribery.
He also called on the team to regularly consult the KPK, antigraft campaigners and members of civil society when conducting the selection process. Jokowi is expected to have a meeting with the nine members of the selection team and brief them on his antigraft campaign stance.
State Secretary Pratikno said that Jokowi had appointed the nine individuals after considering 40 names.
The President had also consulted a number of experts before making his pick.
Contacted separately, Teten Masduki, a member of the presidential communication team and a former antigraft campaigner, said the President had not opted to explain why he had chosen an all-female team.
'He only said the committee should be independent and professional, and comprise various expertise that complemented each other,' Teten added.
Arsul Sani, a member of House of Representatives' Commission III overseeing legal affairs, which will conduct confirmation hearings on Jokowi's selections, applauded the President's move and said the diverse backgrounds of the team could become its main strength
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