Sella Rizky, Jakarta – Muhaimin Iskandar, chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB), failed to comply with a summons from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Tuesday for questioning related to a corruption investigation during his tenure as the manpower minister.
Muhaimin, who was recently announced as the running mate for presidential candidate Anies Baswedan, cited a conflicting schedule and requested that his interrogation be rescheduled for Thursday, KPK spokesman Ali Fikri told reporters at the commission's headquarters in Jakarta.
Ali denied allegations that the investigation was politically motivated, saying that Muhaimin's summons as a witness had been issued two days before Saturday's candidate announcement.
"The case is unrelated to ongoing political developments. His summons had been planned prior to that," Ali said.
The investigation revolves around alleged corruption in a project to establish a protection system for Indonesian migrant workers within the Manpower Ministry in 2012. Muhaimin served as the minister from 2009 to 2014 during the second term of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's presidency.
Muhaimin's recent appointment as a running mate came at the expense of Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the eldest son of Susilo.
The Democratic Party released a handwritten note purportedly signed by Anies, in which he requested Agus as his running mate for the 2024 presidential election, as it accused Anies of betraying the consensus by choosing Muhaimin at the last minute.
On Friday, the Democratic Party withdrew from the three-party coalition supporting Anies' presidential bid due to the running mate dispute. A day later, Anies and Muhaimin attended the declaration ceremony of their pairing in Surabaya.
The KPK spokesman stated that investigators cannot accommodate Muhaimin's request to reschedule the questioning for Thursday due to their own schedules. A second summons will be sent for next week.
The commission has named three suspects in the case, including two state employees, but the KPK has not provided details in the ongoing investigation.