Jakarta – The Home Ministry has temporarily dismissed Southeast Sulawesi's North Buton deputy regent and current acting regent, Ramadio, from his position following allegations he sexually exploited a minor.
The decision was taken on Thursday after the province's governor, Ali Mazi, filed a request for Ramadio's dismissal to Home Minister Tito Karnavian on Wednesday.
"[Ramadio] has been temporarily dismissed from his position as North Buton deputy regent and current acting regent," the ministry's acting regional autonomy director general, Akmal Malik, said on Thursday as reported by Kompas.com.
He said the ministry had also appointed the North Buton regional secretary as a temporary replacement for Ramadio.
Akmal explained that Ali had proposed three names for the regency's acting regent position.
They are Hery Alamsyah, a member of Ali's team of experts, Basiran, the provincial administration's assistant for public welfare, and Pahri Yamsul, head of the Southeast Sulawesi Cipta Karya, Construction and Planning Agency.
Ramadio was appointed as North Buton acting regent after regent Abu Hasan took unpaid leave as he seeks reelection in the upcoming regional election in December.
The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) had raised concerns about Ramadio's appointment over his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case against a minor.
Ramadio was named a suspect in December 2019 for allegedly paying Rp 2 million (US$134.71) to a pimp, identified only as T, to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
While T was found guilty in the case, and was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined Rp 100 million, Ramadio was not detained and prosecutors have yet to bring his case to court.
Ramadio currently faces charges under Article 81 of Law No.35/2014 on child protection, which carries a sentence of five to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to Rp 5 billion. (nal)