JAKARTA: Indonesia’s House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto has quit for breaching House Ethics Rules.
He was found to have misused President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s names to secure shares for himself in international mining company, Freeport, during a negotiation to extend the latter’s contract in Indonesia.
Novanto’s decision was accepted by the Ethics Council after its deputy chief Sufmi Dasco Ahmad read out his resignation letter in a closed door meeting.
Appearing on live local television last night, Sufmi said the decision by Novanto who was appointed to the position for 2014-2019, was in the interest of the people and country.
The ex-speaker’s case was exposed by the local media in a news report headlined, “Papa Minta Saham”, drawing the ire of Joko and Jusuf who called for an inquiry to clear their names.
Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Sudirman Said subsequently lodged a report to the ethics council.
The council also received a tape recording from PT Freeport Indonesia president director Ma’roef Sjamsoeddin on the negotiation between him and Novanto, a representative of the Golkar Party.
Meanwhile, local media reports quoted Jusuf as saying he appreciated Novanto’s move but regarded it as “a little too late”.
Novanto should have stepped down earlier instead of waiting to be summoned by the council, Jusuf was reported to have said.