No need to elect KPK new chairman, ICW says

Anti-graft watchdog NGO Indonesia Corruption Watch says it is not necessary for the House of Representatives to elect the chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) following the House decision to drop KPK acting chairman.

"We are afraid the election would be politicized by the political parties," ICW activist Febri Diansyah said on Wednesday.

He said that the KPK would not be paralyzed only because of losing a leader.

"KPK has five members of chairmenship in a collective system. Therefore, four leaders will be enough for the commission to do its duties," Febri said.

House Commission III on law and human rights on Tuesday decided to defy the Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 4/2009 on KPK temporary leaders.

Commission III member Nasir Djamil of the Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS) said the Perppu was no more relevant.

"President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued the Perppu in regard to the then situation at the KPK where the commission only had two chairmen left," he said.

Only two out of nine factions at the commission thought the Perppu was still needed, Nasir said.

Three of five KPK chairmen were then suspended due to legal charges.

KPK chairman Antasari Azhar was suspended due to involvement a murder case in March last year.

His two deputies, Bibit Samat Riyanto and Chandra M Hamzah, were also suspended due to an alleged bribery case in the middle of 2009.

However, the bribery was never proven and President Yudhoyono decided to reinstate Bibit and Chandra at their original positions.

Another Commission III member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Gayus Lumbuun, said the commission's decision would not be effective until it was brought into a House plenary meeting.