Mon, 04 Sep 2000

Councillors have 'no plan to drop Governor Sutiyoso'

JAKARTA (JP): Two city councillors said on Sunday they had no intention of removing Governor Sutiyoso from office by rejecting his accountability speech.

"The governor can only be removed if he deviates or commits a crime... not via judgment of his accountability speech," head of the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) Audi Tambunan told Antara on Sunday.

"This does not mean we intend to accept the speech. PDI Perjuangan is still discussing the matter. We know that he has taken pains to do something about street vendors causing traffic congestion; he sealed the Citra Hotel in West Jakarta over building violations and other matters."

Separately, councillor Tjuk Sudono from the National Mandate Party (PAN), said that if the speech was found unacceptable, the councillors would not hesitate to reject it.

"This does not mean we want to bring down Sutiyoso though, since we would be left with no governor. Would losing Sutiyoso solve the capital's various problems?" Tjuk said.

City councillors agreed on Friday to decide by ballot the voting method to be employed for their final judgment of Governor Sutiyoso's accountability speech on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference after a coordinating meeting with the council's 11 factions, deputy speaker Tarmidi Suhardjo said: "We have agreed to conduct a ballot on Monday to decide whether the voting by the councillors on Sutiyoso's accountability speech will be done openly or by secret ballot.

Friday's meeting was attended by 70 of the council's 85 members.

During the meeting, 52 councillors voted for the ballot, 16 for an open vote and two abstained.

The meeting was held after the councillors failed to reach an agreement earlier.

During a plenary session on July 20, the councillors rejected the governor's accountability speech in an open vote.

Tjuk expressed his faction's disappointment with the results of Friday's meeting.

"PAN has insisted from the beginning that open voting is important as it is the most reliable way to show the public each councillor's stance on the governor's performance," he said.

Tjuk views open voting as a sort of public accountability.

"We just want to avoid the impression that the councillors are hiding something," Tjuk said. (ylt)