Fri, 19 Dec 2003

Ex-New Order officials 'unfit' to run in legislative election

Moch. N. Kurniawan and Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta/Makassar

The General Elections Commission (KPU) declared on Thursday three former state officials from the New Order unfit to contest the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) election, representing South Sulawesi.

The disqualification of former head of the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) Beddu Amang, former Supreme Advisory Council chairman A.A. Baramuli and former State Minister for State Enterprises Tanri Abeng followed a decision by South Sulawesi's Regional Elections Commission (KPUD) overnight, which said the three had failed the factual screening on their residential status.

The South Sulawesi KPUD found that Beddu failed to meet the requirement of three consecutive years living in the province as his passports confirmed he had lived in two houses in South Kemang and Tebet, both in Jakarta.

Like Beddu, Baramuli also failed to prove that he had been living in South Sulawesi for the last three consecutive years, as his green, official and diplomatic passports, identity card and yearly tax assessment document stipulate he lives in Jl. Imam Bonjol, Central Jakarta.

As for Tanri, the KPUD said he could not prove he was living in South Sulawesi for 10 years after the age of 17, between 1960 and 1970, as he once studied in the U.S. between 1968 and 1969.

"Based on the South Sulawesi final report, those people do not qualify for next year's election," KPU member Mulyana W. Kusumah said after a meeting with South Sulawesi KPUD member Mappinawang.

Apart from the three former officials, the KPUD also disqualified Rivai Siata also on the basis of the residential requirement.

The election law says DPD candidates must have lived in the province they will represent for the last three consecutive years, or 10 years after the age of 17.

Based on the Election Law, every province will be represented by four DPD members. Along with the House of Representatives, the DPD will form the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

This decision is a minor surprise as Ramlan said on Wednesday the recent findings from South Sulawesi KPUD would likely pass the three former state officials in the screening for DPD aspirants.

KPU deputy chairman Ramlan Surbakti said the South Sulawesi case would emulate the case of Ginandjar Kartasasmita, the present MPR deputy speaker, whom many believed lived in Jakarta, but he managed to pass the DPD candidate screening in Sumedang, West Java.

Ramlan did not elaborate on the West Java KPUD argument that endorsed Ginandjar's bid.

At the moment, Ginandjar sits in the MPR representing West Java.

On the same day, Baramuli's lawyer Yusuf Gunco sent a letter to the KPU, saying that his client should pass the screening as in the case of Ginanjar in West Jawa, and Subiajakto Cakrawerdaja in Central Java.

KPU also announced on Thursday that Bambang Suroso, Ali Hanafiah and Asri Antoni had passed the Bengkulu KPUD screening as DPD candidates.

As of Thursday a total 923 DPD aspirants from 31 provinces were declared eligible to contest the 2004 elections.

One newly established province, West Irian Jaya, has been given an extension.