Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Indonesia's election organizing agency expressed support for a proposal by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, to ban graft convicts from nominating themselves as candidates in next year's regional elections.
"The KPK's idea is actually in line with what the General Elections Commission [KPU] proposed when requesting a ban on graft convicts being nominated in legislative elections in 2019," KPU commissioner Pramono Ubaid Tanthowi said on Monday.
About 270 regions, including nine provinces, 224 districts and 37 cities, will elect mayors, district heads and governors next year.
The idea of a ban on graft convicts gained traction following the arrest on Friday of Muhammad Tamzil, the district head of Kudus, Central Java, for alleged bribery. He reportedly demanded payment to ensure certain people are employed as civil servants in the district government.
Tamzil, who also served as district head in 2003-2008, was sentenced 22 months in prison in December 2015 for graft involving funding for educational facilities and infrastructure. Surprisingly, he was re-elected last year.
"The case involving the district head of Kudus is proof that graft convicts are never suitable to receive a mandate to become public officials," Pramono said.
He decried the Supreme Court's decision to annul the KPU's ban on graft convicts from this year's legislative elections.
The KPK, through deputy chairwoman Basaria Pandjaitan, previously sent a strong warning to political parties not to nominate candidates with bad track records, including those who had been convicted in graft cases.