January 3, 2024
JAKARTA – President prepares list of possible Firli replacements
President prepares names to replace Firli
Sub: Potential replacements to be picked from list of candidates from 2019
The Jakarta Post/Jakarta
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is preparing a list of candidates to fill a leadership post at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that was left empty last week by the dismissal of Firli Bahuri.
Prevailing KPK law stipulates that the President propose to the House of Representatives two candidates for every empty position, and for lawmakers to then make the final decision. The names must be from a list of former candidates who were screened by a government-sanctioned selection committee in the past but failed during the process at the House – and they must meet the age requirement and be qualified for the job.
Presidential expert staff coordinator Ari Dwipayana told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that the names would come from the list from the 2019 screening, the last time the government and the House went through this process.
“The President will follow the mechanism stipulated in KPK law when submitting the list of names [to House Commission III overseeing legal affairs],” Ari said.
There are currently four former candidates from the 2019 selection process: Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) auditor I Nyoman Wara, academic Luthfi Jayadi Kurniawan and government officials Roby Arya Brata and Sigit Danang Joyo.
Ari did not reveal which two candidates were the most likely to be proposed by the President, and it also remains unclear whether Wara is eligible for the job given that he failed his second selection process by the House in 2022.
At the time, Wara was one of two candidates proposed by the President to replace commissioner Lili Pintauli Siregar, who resigned from office to escape allegations of ethics violations. The lawmakers voted in favor of his rival, Johanis Tanak.
In 2019, the House voted for Firli, a controversial two-star police general, to sit as KPK chairman, and for four KPK commissioners to be Firli’s deputies, including Lili. At the time of the voting, Firli was an active police officer with the rank of inspector general.
Firli was dismissed from the KPK chairmanship and commissioner post by the President on Thursday, a day after the KPK supervisory council found Firli guilty of severe ethics violations for communicating with then agriculture minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo, a person of interest in a KPK graft investigation. Having no power to dismiss Firli, the council urged him to step down from his position and recommended that the President remove Firli.
Jokowi previously suspended Firli in late November, shortly after the Jakarta Police named the controversial KPK chairman a suspect for allegedly extorting money from Syahrul in relation to the KPK investigation.
The President appointed Nawawi Pomolango, one of Firli’s deputies, the acting chairman, and shortly after his inauguration, Nawawi promised that he would try to restore public confidence in the institution.
The agency and its leadership have been mired in controversy since Firli took charge in 2019, around the time that the Jokowi administration and lawmakers allowed the antigraft agency to be systematically defanged through a 2019 amendment to the KPK Law.
It also remains unclear when the President will submit the names of the two proposed replacement candidates to the House, which is currently in recess. The House will start its next session on Jan. 16.
“What’s important for now is that the President immediately submit the list of candidates to the House so we can start the selection process,” House Commission III lawmaker Johan Budi of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said on Sunday.