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Jakarta Post

Watchdogs urge KPK to restart key position selection over lack of transparency

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 2, 2020   /   05:14 pm
Watchdogs urge KPK to restart key position selection over lack of transparency Employees of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) lay flowers and wreaths on top of a casket in front of the KPK's headquarters in Kuningan, Central Jakarta, on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 after the House of Representatives selected police general Firli Bahuri as the KPK's new commissioner. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

A coalition of civil society organizations has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to start over its selection process for a key position within the commission, citing a lack of transparency regarding the whole process.

The coalition -- comprising Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), West Sumatra’s Andalas University’s Constitution Study Center (PUSaKO), the Indonesia Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) and the Indonesian legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) – pointed out that the antigraft body had yet to announce the names of law enforcement candidates despite the selection process nearing completion.

The watchdogs were concerned about a hidden agenda by KPK leaders in the selection process to place certain individuals in key positions.

Read also: Candidates narrowed down for KPK enforcement deputy director, other positions

The position of KPK law enforcement deputy, responsible for all legal efforts against graft suspects, has been vacant since then-deputy Firli Bahuri left the post in June 2019 to return to the National Police. He now serves as the antigraft body chairman after being selected by the House of Representatives in September 2019.

“Any work on eradicating corruption carried out by the KPK must be accountable to the public,” the watchdogs wrote in a statement on Wednesday.

“This selection process has increased our concern that the KPK leaders are eliminating public involvement in the battle against corruption,” the coalition went on to say, adding that such practices could violate the principle of openness and accountability stipulated in the KPK Law and Public Information Law.

The ICW previously also slammed the antigraft body, highlighting the lack of participation by the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center’s (PPATK) in checking each candidate’s background. It said the high number of law enforcers applying for the deputy position would present a potential conflict of interest, especially when the KPK investigated suspected graft cases in law enforcement institutions.

KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said on Monday that the commission had narrowed down the number of candidates for the deputy position to three individuals. It had also selected candidates for other key positions, including investigation director and legal bureau head.

Ali said the antigraft body had been inviting members of the general public to participate in the selection process by providing insights on each candidate. However, the antigraft body had yet to reveal the names of the candidates.

Since Firli was inaugurated as the KPK chairman last December, the antigraft body has only carried out two arrests of high-profile graft suspects, namely Sidoarjo Regent Saiful Ilah and General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan.

However, the investigations in both cases had been launched when the antigraft body was led by the previous chairman Agus Rahardjo.