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Jakarta Post

Bengkalis councilor named suspect over alleged money politics

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Mon, May 21, 2018   /   04:50 pm
Bengkalis councilor named suspect over alleged money politics Getting prepared: Election officials fold ballots for the 2018 Central Java gubernatorial election in Ungaran, Semarang regency, on May 20. (Antara/Aditya Pradana Putra)

Bengkalis Legislative Council member Nur Azmi Hasyim and his staffer, Adi Purnawan, have been named suspects by the police for allegedly distributing unlawful gifts during the campaign period.

The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) Riau head, Rusidi Rusdan, said the two suspects were suspected to have distributed envelopes containing money with the aim of influencing residents to vote for a certain candidate pair in the upcoming Riau gubernatorial election.

“They were named suspects after Bawaslu’s Integrated Law Enforcement Center [Sentra Gakkumdu] found evidence of violations,” Rusidi said on Monday.

Bawaslu began to detect the suspected money politics when its field monitoring committee observed Azmi’s activities during a recess period at a futsal field in Parit Kebumen village in Rupat district on April 13.

The councilor from the Democratic Party, aided by his staffer, reportedly distributed blue T-shirts emblazoned with a picture of Riau gubernatorial candidate pair Firdaus and Rusli Effendi to people who attended the event.

The message "Firdaus-Rusli Jadikan" (Get Firdaus – Rusli elected), was also written on the T-shirts. Firdaus, who currently serves as the Pekanbaru mayor, and Rusli have been nominated by the Democratic Party and the United Development Party (PPP) to run in the election.

“Inside each T-shirt, there was a white envelope containing Rp 50,000 [US$3.52] in cash. The finding was later reported to the Bengkalis Elections Supervisory Committee [Panwaslu] and Bawaslu Riau. After conducting an investigation, authorities found evidence of a suspected criminal violation and handed the case over to Sentra Gakkumdu,” said Rusidi.

After collecting evidence and questioning witnesses for 14 days, the police’s investigators named Azmi and Adi suspects of money politics.

They were charged with violating Law No.10/2016 on gubernatorial, regent and mayoral elections. “If proven guilty they face a maximum sentence of 72-months in prison and Rp 1 billion in fines,” said Rusidi. (ebf)