Antitrust agency, or KPPU, on Tuesday (27/02) announced the suspension of its operation by Feb.28 temporarily until new commissioners for period 2018-2023 will be appointed as the current board’s duty term has expired. (Image courtesy of KPPU's official Twitter)

Antitrust Agency Suspends Operations

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

FEBRUARY 28, 2018

Jakarta. The national antitrust agency on Tuesday (27/02) announced a temporary suspension of its operations, effective on Feb. 28, until commissioners for the 2018-23 term are appointed.

In the announcement, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said all activities that require direct involvement of its nine commissioners, such assessment of irregularities in merger cases, will cease as the current board's term has expired.

In September, six businessmen, academicians and government officials were appointed to nominate new candidates. The team, consisting of Hendri Saparini, Rhenald Kasali, Alexander Lay, Ine Minara S. Ruky, Paripurna P. Sugarda and Cecep Sutiawan, produced a list of 18 names.

According to Democratic Party lawmaker Azam Azman Natawijana, deputy chairman of House Commission VI, which oversees industry, investment, state-owned enterprises and KPPU, the list was submitted by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to the House of Representatives in December.

The House requested that the president extend the terms of the outgoing commissioners, as lawmakers need more time to check the proposed candidates. Jokowi gave the House another two months.

"According to Commission VI, there was a conflict of interest between [four] members of the selecting team and KPPU, because they were involved in cases handled by the agency," Azam told the Jakarta Globe.

On Feb. 14, the commission sent a letter to the House speaker, with a recommendation for the president to extend the duty of KPPU commissioners by one year.

It is possible that the speaker has not forwarded the letter, as legislators are currently on recess, Azam said.

He expressed his hope, however, that the president will accept the recommendation.

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