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Jakarta Post

Holding RI passport does not prove Arcandra's citizenship: Expert

  • Evi Mariani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, August 14, 2016   /  01:04 pm
Holding RI passport does not prove Arcandra's citizenship: Expert Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar shakes hands with Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung while Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi looks on during the announcement of the second cabinet reshuffle at the palace on July 27. (setkab.go.id/Cabinet Secretary)

Recent comments made by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar in response to rumors he has dual citizenship did not clear up the issue of whether he satisfies all the legal requirements to become a minister, an expert says.

Law No. 39/2008 on state ministers stipulates six requirements for a ministerial job, including Indonesian citizenship, which precludes him from holding citizenship of another country.

Denny Indrayana, a state law expert who was a presidential staff member in the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that if the rumors are true that Arcandra holds a US passport and thus US citizenship, the fact that he also holds an Indonesian passport does not mean he is an Indonesian citizen.

“I read in the news ‘Look at my face, Padang face, right?’ or  he still has his Indonesian passport, and he also said he had ‘returned his American process’. What is this ‘American process?’ It is not clear,” Denny said. “The key is, did he, or did he not say the oath of allegiance to the US government?”

Denny said that if “American process” means he applied for US citizenship but did not say the oath, he would not lose his Indonesian citizenship. But if he had said the oath, he should have automatically lost his Indonesian citizenship and would have to undergo a process to recover it according to Indonesian law.

“Gaining back Indonesian citizenship is not that easy. Citizenship law stipulates, among other things, that the applicant has to have lived in Indonesia for the past five years. That requirement is not fulfilled if Arcandra has spent the last 20 years in the US,” Denny said.

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