Indonesian ex-graft convicts active again in political parties ‘nothing new’

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ICW coordinator Agus Sunaryanto
ICW coordinator Agus Sunaryanto . . . "there is a problem in the political parties." Image: IndoLeft News/Viva

By Agus Rahmat in Jakarta

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has condemned the phenomena of former corruption convicts becoming active again in political parties after serving their sentences.

However, it says this is not a new phenomenon in the world of politics.

ICW coordinator Agus Sunaryanto revealed several names of people who were caught up in corruption cases and who were now active again in political parties.

He cited names such as Andi Mallarangeng from the Democrat Party, who was indicted in the Hambalang sports complex case and released from prison in 2017.

Nazaruddin, also from the Democrat Party, was indicted in two cases — the 4.6 billion rupiah (NZ$4.65 million) bribery case involving the Wisma Atlet (Athletes Village), as well as graft and money laundering.

The latest is former United Development Party (PPP) chairperson Muhammad Romahurmuziy (Romy) who was indicted over receiving bribes for selling posts in the Ministry of Religious Affairs in 2019.

After being released from prison, Romahurmuziy was appointed as chairperson of the PPP’s Advisory Board.

“So (the phenomena of ex-corruptors becoming active again in political parties) is not just happening in the PPP. The Democrats are also like that, Nazaruddin and Andi Mallarangeng for example,” Sunaryanto told journalists.

‘Internal problem’
Sunaryanto said he suspected there was an “internal problem” in the political parties so that in the end they accepted former corruption convicts rejoining the party.

He also gave a flashback over the actions by the political parties when their members were indicted in corruption cases.

Sunaryanto said that the parties “fall over themselves publicly” in taking stern measures against corrupt members, such as dismissing them.

But these dismissals were just a political gimmick because party members could easily rejoin after they had served their sentences.

“I think there is a problem in the political parties. The political parties actually take good steps when [members] are declared suspects. Before, the Democrats immediately dismissed them [Nazaruddin and Mallarangeng], but then after they’re released, they come back in again. This is simply a political gimmick,” he added.

Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “ICW Sindir Eks Koruptor Masuk Partai Lagi: Seperti Gimmick Politik”.

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