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Jakarta Post

House urged to drop politicians in BPK race

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 20, 2016   /  12:53 pm
House urged to drop politicians in BPK race The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman Harry Azhar Azis (second left) poses with the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) head Muhammad Syarkawi Rauf (second right) after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing in Jakarta on May 24. (Tempo/File)

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) will likely face further criticism regarding its ability to maintain independency should lawmakers allow another politician to win an ongoing selection process to be part of the BPK’s leadership, analysts have warned.

House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing finance and banking is currently selecting a new BPK member to fill a leadership position that will become vacant next month.

The screening for 24 candidates, including incumbent Bahrullah Akbar, commenced Monday and will run until Wednesday. Apart from Bahrullah, notable economist Anggito Abimanyu and Financial Services Authority (OJK) finance investigation department head Insp. Gen. Rusli Nasution, an active police general, are also among the candidates.

But activists and analyst have raised concerns over the possibility that the BPK’s nine-member governing board will again have another politically-wired member, given the presence of two politicians as candidates: United Development Party (PPP) executive Ahmad Yani and Prosperous Justice Party’s (PKS) Suharmanta, currently serving as a councillor in Kulonprogo regency, Yogyakarta.

“As a perennial practice, one of them [Ahmad and Suharmanta] were likely to win the election,” Center For Budget Analysis director Uchok Sky Khadafi told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Current BPK chairman Harry Azhar Aziz is a former politician from Golkar Party who replaced Rizal Djalil, a former National Mandate Party (PAN) member, in 2014. Rizal still serves as one of the nine members in the current BPK leadership team.

Apart from Harry and Rizal, there are at least two BPK leaders whose political connections are apparent: Achsanul Qosasi, a former Democrate Party lawmaker, and Agung Firman Sampurna, a son of Golkar senior politician Kahar Muzakir.

Indonesian Budget Center director Roy Salam said Harry’s being implicated in the Panama Papers was proof that “a politically-wired leader would not ever be good for the BPK”, as the agency’s integrity became tainted by the conundrum.

Harry was among 800 wealthy Indonesians listed in the Panama Papers that leaked information on more than 214,000 offshore companies associated with Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. He has played down his inclusion in the document.

Unlike other institutions, such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the General Election Commission (KPU), the BPK’s leadership selection process is fully spearheaded by House Commission XI.

Commission XI lawmaker Indah Kurnia from PDI-P dismissed concerns that the BPK would become mired in political fray if the commission elect a politician as one of the agency’s leaders, because the regulation requires them to disassociate themselves from their party if elected. (mos)

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