BTV, Jakarta – The Home Affairs Ministry on Thursday appointed Papua provincial government secretary Ridwan Rumasukun to fill in the post vacated by Governor Lukas Enembe who was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, two days earlier.
Lukas is currently under KPK custody in Jakarta to face an investigation over allegations that he accepted bribes from private companies during his tenure.
The central government immediately appointed an acting governor to prevent the absence of leadership in the country's easternmost province because Vice Governor Klemen Tinal – the first in the gubernatorial line of succession – passed away in May 2021, the ministry's spokesman Benni Irwan said.
"The provincial government secretary will overtake the daily duties of the governor. We sent a letter to the Papua Provincial Government today to inform that the secretary is effectively the acting governor," Benni said.
Ridwan has been serving with the provincial government since 1990 when he became the administrative head of the Abepura Psychiatric Hospital.
Lukas appointed him as secretary after dismissing a central government's appointee who sought to temporarily replace the governor over medical reasons two years ago.
The Home Affairs Ministry initially rejected Ridwan's appointment but President Joko Widodo decided in favor of Lukas and Ridwan was installed as a secretary in October 2021.
Lukas was named a corruption suspect in September of last year but he resisted arrest and insisted that the investigation be conducted in Papua, causing months of a standoff with the KPK during which financial authorities leaked information about the governor's gambling habit and lavish lifestyle.
The KPK has frozen bank accounts belonging to Lukas and his family members worth around Rp 76 billion ($5 million), more than double the value of his reported personal wealth.
According to his latest public filing submitted in March of last year, Lukas is worth Rp 33.7 billion.