The Jakarta Post
Around half of the Malang Council members who have been named graft suspects are seeking reelection as legislative candidates next year, according to the General Elections Commission (KPU).
KPU chairman Arief Budiman said Wednesday that 21 of the 41 councillors — all of whom were implicated in a bribery case related to budget deliberations — had registered for the 2019 legislative elections, kompas.com has reported.
"There are reportedly 21 people, but we have to check where they registered their candidacies — whether it is with a City Council, Regional Legislative Council or the House of Representatives," Arief said on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the KPU is reviewing the suspects’ candidacies and status. If possible, the commission would request their political parties to retract their candidacies, Arief said.
"We will check whether or not it is possible to replace [the candidates]," he said, adding that if possible, the process must be carried out before Sept. 20, which is the deadline for the KPU to finalize the final candidates list (DCT) for the 2019 legislative elections.
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has arrested 41 of the city's 45 councillors over their alleged involvement in a bribery case related to the deliberation of the 2015 city budget.
The KPK initially declared 18 councillors suspects following the arrest in March of then-mayor Mochamad Anton, who was suspected of distributing Rp 700 million (US$47,017) in bribes to councillors to pass the 2015 draft budget.
Six months later, the antigraft body named another 22 members of the council suspects in the case.
Forty interim councillors were inaugurated on Monday to handle the draft budget and pass pending bylaws until August next year. (afr/ahw)