BREAKING: House Speaker Setya Resigns

House speaker Setya Novanto, center, has resigned from his post, an ethics council member says. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

By : Hotman Siregar | on 9:18 PM December 16, 2015
Category : News, Politics, Featured, Corruption

Jakarta. Setya Novanto has resigned from his position as speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives shortly after a majority of the House Ethics Council ruled he had violated the legislative body's ethics code by attempting to extort a mining company out of $4 billion in shares.

"We have received Setya Novanto's resignation letter," Ethics Council member Sukiman told reporters late on Wednesday.

The letter will be read later at the tribunal, he added.

A number of state officials, including Vice President Jusuf Kalla, had repeatedly urged Setya to step down from his post should the ethics tribunal find him guilty of using Kalla and President Joko Widodo's names in demanding shares from Freeport Indonesia.

"If that is their decision, then [Setya] must resign – those are the rules," Kalla said, adding that the council's verdict was final and there should be no room for the former speaker to appeal.

The two-week inquiry ended today, with 15 of the 17 council members concluding that Setya, along with his alleged private-sector associate, oilman Muhammad Riza Chalid, had broken the House's ethics code by secretly organizing two private meetings between May and June with Freeport Indonesia chief executive Maroef Sjamsoeddin.

During the June meeting, Setya and Riza allegedly promised to expedite the negotiation process for Freeport Indonesia's contract extension from 2019 – in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the Papua-based gold and copper miner valued at $4 billion.

Though he resigned as speaker, the Golkar politician will remain a member of the House.

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