Tue, 25 Feb 2003

Former KONI candidate calls for clean poll

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Joko Pramono, a onetime candidate for the National Sports Council (KONI)'s chairmanship, has called for a clean and transparent election process this time around.

"I'd like to warn the election committee to be sportsmanlike. No fabrications," Joko, who heads the National Water Ski Association (POSI), said at the Century Hotel here on Monday.

"This is important because it has to do with the future of national sports. Leave the issue to the participants of the congress," he said.

The three-day KONI congress, which begins here on Tuesday, will feature representatives from 50 KONI-affiliated sports organizations and 29 KONI provincial chapters.

Joko, a retired Navy officer, was a strong candidate to replace incumbent KONI chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar in 1997, only to bow out of the race citing pressure. Wismoyo was eventually elected for a second term.

With Wismoyo's time in the chair coming to an end, seven candidates have emerged to succeed him.

The candidates are Arie Sudewo, Agum Gumelar, Luhut Panjaitan and Sutiyoso, who, like Wismoyo, are all retired Army generals. There is also legislator Oesman Sapta Odang, Iskandar Zulkarnain and Andhy Gani Nena Wea.

"All seven must be give an equal opportunity to present their vision at the congress, regardless of whether or not they have already obtained an initial 10 backers as required by the committee," Joko said, who was accompanied by Andhy Gani Nena Wea.

The backers can be sports organizations or KONI's provincial chapters.

Andhy, who is the chairman of the Indonesian Sports Community, said the number of backers should not have a bearing on the election.

"They may change allegiances during the congress, so it is the session that counts," he said.

Andhy said he had the support of a few backers but he would not name the organizations or the chapters.