Jakarta. Sports Minister Iman Nahrawi admitted a member of this year’s Independence Day flag-raising team, known as the Paskibraka, has been dismissed for holding a French passport, which by law cancels out her Indonesian citizenship.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo officially appointed 67 Paskibraka team members on Monday (15/08). Another team member, Gloria Natapradja Hamel from West Java, was dismissed last week for holding the French passport.
The sports minister said Gloria had already been quarantined with the other 67 candidates in Jakarta to prepare for the Independence Day ceremony on Aug. 17 to take place at the state palace. "We found out Gloria had a French passport a week after [the quarantine started], when we did a routine check with the Justice Ministry."
Meanwhile, Jakarta’s Garrison I chief Brig. Gen. Yosua Pandit Sembiring — who is responsible for the security and implementation of the ceremony – hinted that the Sports Ministry is to blame for Gloria's selection.
"The Sports Ministry selects the team. And now we've been informed that Gloria has a French passport. The law states Indonesian citizens can't hold a dual citizenship. We have to obey the law," Yosua said.
The Paskibraka team will be in charge of raising the national flag during the Independence Day ceremony at the state palace. The Sports Ministry has confirmed there will not be a replacement for Gloria.
Gloria's dismissal followed on the heels of Arcandra Tahar's sacking from his brand new post as Energy and Mineral Resources Minister reportedly for holding a US passport.