Jakarta – A group of senior public figures and scholars have lambasted the political elites for "misleading" the public and "threatening" President Jokowi "Jokowi" Widodo in a bid to block attempts to revoke the new Corruption Eradication Law.
During a meeting at the State Palace last week, the group urged the President to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to overwrite the new KPK Law, which they said contained articles that would weaken the antigraft body.
The President said he would consider the suggestion.
The group included cultural critic Goenawan Mohamad, economist Emil Salim, Quranic expert Quraish Shihab, former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, philosopher Franz Magnis-Suseno and former KPK commissioners Taufiequrachman Ruki and Chandra Hamzah.
Jokowi's coalition parties, however, have outright rejected the idea, saying the law had not been implemented yet and that the public could challenge it at the Constitutional Court.
NasDem Party leader Surya Paloh argued that issuing a Perppu could prove problematic for Jokowi. Such a move could easily be politicized and Jokowi could face impeachment for doing so, he said as quoted by kompas.com.
"A week after the meeting, a wave of rejection from political parties is mounting. A number of inaccurate arguments have been put forward, misleading the public that a Perppu cannot be issued. Moreover, some parties said the President could be ousted for issuing a Perppu," the group said in a statement on Friday.
They argued that issuing a Perppu was a constitutional right of the President and therefore could not be used as a pretext to impeach him.
"We call on the President to immediately issue a Perppu to correct the KPK Law revisions to strengthen the President's commitment to corruption eradication," they said. "We remind the political elites not to issue misleading and alarmist statements or threaten the President." (ahw)