Budi Gunawan proposed legitimately be Chief of Indonesian Police

Budi Gunawan proposed legitimately be Chief of Indonesian Police

Tjahjo Kumolo. (ANTARA/Regina Safri)

Jatinangor, West Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has defended President Joko Widodos (Jokowi) decision to propose Commissioner General Budi Gunawan as candidate for national police here on Monday and called the decision legitimate.

"It was alright (for President Joko Widodo) to nominate a former adjutant (of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri). There is no problem. Another former adjutant of Megawati, retired general Pramono Edhie, was named army chief. So, it has been normal for him (President Joko Widodo) to choose someone he knows well," he said after giving a general lecture at the State Administration Academy here on Monday.

He noted it was normal for the President to choose a close associate as a candidate for the next police chief.

"The appointment is his prerogative. General Sutarman (current police chief) was the adjutant of former president Gus Dur (Abdurrahman Wahid). So, in terms of association, the decision is legitimate," he added.

The minister reminded that the appointment of national police chief is the prerogative of the President and is similar to the appointment of chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Hence, he said, it is not wrong if the President made the decision without involving the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Analysis and Transactions Reporting Center (PPATK).

"I dont think his decision will damage the Jokowi (Joko Widodoh) governments reputation," he added.

The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has questioned the Presidents decision to not involve KPK and PPATK while nominating Commissioner General Budi Gunawan for the countrys next national police chief.

ICWs coordinator for legal and justice monitoring Emerson Yuntho pointed out, "there is something strange in the process of the election of the candidate for national police chief."

During the election of current national police chief General Sutarman by former president Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the anti-graft body was involved.

Yuntho remarked that the election of candidate for national police chief must have followed the same process as that for the appointment of cabinet ministers, by involving KPK and PPATK.

"The appointment of cabinet ministers involved KPK and PPATK but the appointment of candidates for national police chief and attorney general did not involve them. This is discriminatory," he observed.

Minister Tjahyo Kumolo, who is also deputy chairman of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas), noted that an internal investigation has declared Commissioner General Budi Gunawan clean.

"According to the result of internal investigation conducted by the police force, he (Budi Gunawan) is clean. His track records are good. You can check them. If there are accusations (that he is not clean), let them prove them," he added.

President Joko Widodo has said that his decision to name Commissioner General Budi Gunawan as candidate for the next national police chief has been in line with procedures.

"It has been processed in Kompolnas. That is my prerogative and I use it. I will later submit the name to Parliament (for approval)," he stated.

(Reporting by Fransiska Ninditya/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/B003)