With a number of top politicians accused of being implicated in graft, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which has vowed to remain independent, will shape the political dynamics of the 2014 elections, analysts say.
The arrest of former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq by the antigraft body earlier this week has dealt a major blow to the Islamic party. The party believed the case against its top politician was engineered by its political enemies and that the same fate may befall other parties.
“Even though the KPK is working according to an existing legal framework, its investigations into cases related to politicians or political parties will affect the country’s political dynamics ahead of 2014,” political observer Gun Gun Heryanto of Paramadina University told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He argued that cases under the KPK’s investigation did not necessarily come from its own findings.
“The cases also come from reports from the public or others,” he said. “It doesn’t rule out the possibility that these hints are political maneuvers. The public [who file the reports] probably do not realize it.”
Other than the imported meat graft scandal that has hit the PKS, the KPK is still investigating other cases that could implicate top politicians in other parties.
In December last year, the KPK named Democratic Party politician Andi Mallarangeng a suspect in the Hambalang sports complex case, making him the first active Cabinet minister to be named. The commission has yet to detain Andi, who later resigned from his post.
The case put a spotlight on party chairman Anas Urbaningrum after former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin repeatedly accused him, as well as Andi, of accepting money in the project.
Nazaruddin claimed Anas used his share to pay for his campaign for the party chairmanship in Bandung in 2010. The KPK has questioned Anas as a witness in the high-profile case but he has yet to be named a suspect, despite various incriminating testimonies against him.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is also in the spotlight, when in July last year, the KPK named politician and lawmaker Izedrik Emir Moeis a suspect in a graft case surrounding the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Tarahan, Lampung, in 2004.
In a separate case, Golkar Party lawmaker Zulkarnaen Djabar is now facing trial for his role in the Koran procurement scandal at the Religious Affairs Ministry and computer laboratories at junior Islamic high schools. KPK prosecutors accused Zulkarnaen of accepting bribes during the deliberation of the budget for the projects in 2011 and 2012.
Golkar’s executive Priyo Budi Santoso, who is also the House of Representatives deputy speaker, has been implicated in the case. He has denied the allegations.
The KPK is still investigating the Bank Century scandal, a highly political graft case that has been repeatedly used to pressure the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. While the PKS suspected a political conspiracy was behind corruption charges levelled at its chairman, other parties said they still trusted the KPK.
Golkar deputy secretary-general Nurul Arifin said that her party would not meddle in legal affairs. “We’ll leave all indications of corruption, including those allegedly involving our members, to the KPK,” she said.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said the KPK only worked within the legal sphere. “We don’t deal with politics. We prosecute people as individuals, not as political party officials,” he said.