Refusing to repeal KPK Law revisions, Jokowi’s graft commitment questioned

CNN Indonesia – September 25, 2019
Indonesian Corruption Watch researcher Kurnia Ramadhana (CNN)
Indonesian Corruption Watch researcher Kurnia Ramadhana (CNN)

Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) is questioning President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s commitment to eradicating corruption in Indonesia during his next term in office.

Particularly so after Widodo refused to issue a Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) to repeal revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law which were recently passed by the House of Representatives (DPR).

“Just yesterday President Jokowi rejected [issuing] a Perppu. This confirms that Pak [Mr] Jokowi’s real commitment must be questioned. When the issue of weakening the KPK has become absolutely massive in 2019 and there are many options which could be taken by the President but he has chosen not to take them”, said ICW researcher Kurnia Ramadhana at the ACLC building in Jakarta on Tuesday September 24.

Ramadhana said that if Widodo does not want to issue a Perppu all that now remains is submitting a judicial review with the Constitutional Court (MK) which can request that the KPK Law revisions not be applied.

On the matter of which actual articles will be challenged, Ramadhana declined to give any details saying that the ICW is still conducting a study into the revisions.

“We will definitely submit a JR [judicial review], but at this stage we are still studying several of the articles”, he said.

Ramadhana predicates that the Constitutional Court will be flooded by judicial reviews against the revised KPK Law. He is sure that many different social organisations will submit reviews because they believe that the revised law has the potential to weaken the KPK’s efforts to eradicate corruption.

“And we can indeed be sure that the MK will be flooded by JRs when it happens, the government and the DPR should be ashamed because the quality of the regulations they are making are being widely questioned by the public. Even among constitutional channels”, she said.

Earlier, Widodo confirmed that he would not issue a Perppu on the new KPK Law.

The passing of the revised KPK Law has attracted widespread criticism with many saying that there are several articles which could weaken the KPK. Students around the country have held protest actions.

“There won’t be (a Perppu)”, said Widodo following a meeting with DPR leaders at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday September 23.

Widodo was responding to questions by journalists about whether there were plans to issue a Perppu on the KPK Law or not.

Widodo said that at yesterday’s meeting with the DPR they agreed to postpone the enactment of four draft laws (RUU) including the Draft Law on Land Affairs, the Draft Law on Minerals and Coal, the Draft Law on Correctional Institutions and the Draft Criminal Code.

Widodo said that the revisions to the KPK law were an initiative by the DPR, not the government. Meanwhile the other four draft laws were indeed proposed by the government.

“That one (the RUU KPK) was a DPR initiative. These (the four RUU) were a government initiative because they were indeed prepared by the government”, said the former Solo mayor. (ryn/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Enggan Terbitkan Perppu KPK, Komitmen Jokowi Dipertanyakan”.]