Jokowi Must Reject The Request of the House Inquiry Team To Meet Him
The House of Representative inquiry team, with its agenda to incriminate the antigraft body, aims to meen with the President Joko Widodo to share its finding against the body in what might be an unprecedented meeting.
“The team, tasked with probing the performance of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), had filed a request with the House’s leadership board for a consultation with the Presidential Palace. The meeting aims to expose the team’s findings before announcing recommendations in a plenary meeting on Sept.28,” said inquiry team deputy chairman Taufiqulhadi.
The plan of meeting with Jokowi will be intended by the House’s inquiry team to bring together its findings during 60- day probe, including alleged irregularities members claimed to have found relating to the KPK’s performance in eradicating corruption. As many as five suitcases containing administrative documents are ready to be presentated.
If the palace agrees to meet, this would be the first time a House inquiry team would have a consultation with a president over controversial matters being discussed by the team.
The inquiry team consists of members of six out of seven factions of the ruling coalition, including the two biggest factions in the House, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and the Golkar party. Meanwhile, the Gerindra party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Democratic party and the National Awakening Party (PKB) had refused to participate in the inquiry.
Under the 2014 legislative institutions (MD3) law, there is neither an obligation nor prohibitation for an inquiry team to have a consultation with the president. However, article 208 point 4 stipulates that the team’s recommendations must be given to the President at least seven days after the plenary meeting.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Johan Budi said the palace had not yet received any formal letter requesting a meeting. “The President will give an answer, whether to accept or reject the meeting once the letter comes,” he said refusing to give more details.
Previously, amid a growing public outcry against the inquiry team and mounting support for KPK, Jokowi had opted not to intervene in the controversial inquiry, arguing that it was part of the House’s internal matters.
However, the President had asserted that the antigraft body, which has been deemed trustworthy by the public, must be protected and not weakened. Jokowi will play a pivotal role in determining the fate of the KPK, as the President has the right to decide whether follow the recommendations or not.
So far, eventhough President Jokowi had stated that he would be protected and strengthened the antigraft body, commonly the public especially observers tend to analysis that President’s intent or will to strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has been judged as far as political rhetorics. Besides that, President Jokowi will be pushed to solve those polemic as soon as possible. And, finally, it has been created public opinion framming that President had supported the House’s inquiry, if the requesting meeting from the inquiry team would be accepted by the palace.
Obviously, if President Jokowi wants to meet with the inquiry team, it will be spurred many of impacts such as : first, to influencing public trust to the goverment consistency in the implementating law supremacy and corruption eradicating. Secondly, the meeting will be disturbed the KPK’s performance to eradicating corruption practices in Indonesia. Third, rising a public perception that President will support the inquiry team to weaken the KPK’s performance.
Because of that, Jokowi must reject the request of the House inquiry team to meet him. Essentially, the request of the House inquiry team to meet Jokowi is “a political trap” for Jokowi. If Jokowi will meet with them, almost can predict that the chance of Jokowi’s re-elected at the presidential elections in 2019 will be varnished.
*) Nyoman Randy Rainal, Junior observer and analysis at LSISI, Jakarta.