Thu, 30 Nov 2000

151 legislators propose memo on Gus Dur's faults

JAKARTA (JP): A total of 151 legislators from five political parties submitted to House on Wednesday a proposal for a memorandum accusing President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid of inadequacies and questionable behavior.

The 500-strong House can only call for the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) to hold a special session to impeach the President if the latter ignores a memorandum twice.

Zulvan Lindan, spokesman for the legislators, said they exercised "their opinion rights" to ask the House to issue a memorandum in connection with the President's alleged breaches of the constitution, state policy, the presidential oath and several MPR decrees.

"According to the constitution and the House's internal rules and our moral obligation to protect the nation, we are exercising our opinion rights concerning the violations committed by President Abdurrahman Wahid," Zulvan of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) said.

The President, he said, violated the constitution by allowing the Irianese to raise the Morning Star flag.

He said the President violated the 1966 Provisional MPR decree banning of the communist party, the 2000 MPR decree on the appointment of National Police chief and the 2000 MPR decree on the delegation of day-to-day administrative duties to Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

"The President has openly called for the revocation of the 1966 MPRS decree banning the communist party, Marxism and Leninism and this has caused confusion among people and sparked protests from numerous sides," he said.

Another mistake the President made was appointing Gen. Suroyo Bimantoro as National Police chief replacing Gen. Rusdihardjo without the House's prior approval as stipulated in a 2000 MPR decree. The House accepted Bimantoro's appointment on Tuesday.

Zulvan said the President has yet to delegate day-to-day administrative responsibilities to the vice president, although he has issued a decree on sharing the presidential workload.

The President also violated the 1998 MPR Decree on clean government as the government was unable to try former president Soeharto, his family and cronies over corruption during 32 years of his rule, Zulvan said.

"The President has delayed the prosecution of conglomerate owners Syamsul Nursalim, Marimutu Sinivasan and Prayogo Pangestu, all Soeharto cronies," he said.

He said the President has not explained the reasons for the dismissal of two economic ministers in April, a violation of the 1999 law on composition of MPR, House, provincial and regency legislatures.

The proposal for the memorandum gained support from 47 legislators from PDI Perjuangan, 37 from Golkar, 22 from the Reform faction, 10 from the Crescent Star Party (PBB) and one from the Ummat Sovereignty faction.

Legislators from the National Awakening Party (PKB), known as staunch Abdurrahman supporters, the Indonesian Military/National Police faction and the Indonesian Nationhood (FKKI) faction have refused to support the proposal.

House Speaker Akbar Tandjung, who received the proposal, declined to give his personal view, saying he would just follow procedures and let the House decide in a plenary session scheduled for Monday next week.

"If the majority of the House supports the proposal, the House's consultative body will process it in accordance with internal procedures," he said.

According to procedure, the House will issue the memorandum if the proposal is endorsed by the plenary session, then the President has three months to respond.

"If the President ignores the first memorandum, the House will issue a second, with the President given one month to reply. And the House may call for a special session of the MPR if the President ignores the second memorandum," he said.

The House is also investigating the President's alleged involvement in the misuse of Rp 35 billion belonging to the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) foundation. (rms)