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Indonesia President Urges Patience Over Controversial Police Nominee

  • Andy Lala

FILE - Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to the media at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Oct. 21, 2014.

FILE - Indonesian President Joko Widodo talks to the media at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Oct. 21, 2014.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says he will make a final decision next week on his controversial nominee for national police chief.

The president, widely known as Jokowi, urged the nation Wednesday to be patient while he comes to a decision on the future of General Budi Gunawan.

"I’ll have the solutions next week. There’s still some issues to be resolved. There are still some issues that need to be completed. Then all would be solved thoroughly," he said.

State Secretary Pratiko, who uses only one name, explained the situation in greater detail.

"On one hand, the nomination has been approved by parliament. On the other hand, the concerned nominee is facing legal problems. A solution has to be found on this dilemma between the law and politics," he said. "Of course, it would be very productive if Mr. Budi Gunawan withdrew his nomination. It would solve the problem."

But so far, there are no signs the general is preparing to drop his candidacy.

Jokowi has taken the unusual step of having almost all of his high-ranking appointees vetted by the nation's Anti-Corruption Commission, the KPK. But one glaring exception was General Budi Gunawan, whom the KPK has named a corruption suspect.

Since the president announced a delay in the appointment last month, the national police have arrested and released the KPK deputy commissioner and targeted three other commissioners for possible arrest.

The president ran for office and won, at least partly, because of a tough anti-corruption agenda.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA’s Indonesian Service.

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