Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

PDI-P: Megawati Didn't Intervene in Budi's Nomination as Police Chief


JANUARY 12, 2015

Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Jakarta. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) insists that its chairwoman did not have a say in the presidential nomination of Budi Gunawan as the country's next police chief.

"The appointment of the chief of the National Police is Jokowi's prerogative, as the country's leader. There was no intervention from Megawati [Soekarnoputri] as the chairwoman of the PDI-P," Trimedya Panjaitan, the head of PDI-P's legal division, said in Jakarta on Monday, referring to President Joko Widodo by his nickname.

Trimedya, however, did not deny the close ties between Megawati and Budi, who was her adjutant when she was the president of Indonesia in 2001-04.

Trimedya said that the PDI-P — Joko's political vehicle — had made the right decision in pushing forward Budi as its sole candidate for the position, noting that the decision was in line with recommendations from the National Police Commission (Kompolnas).

"It's impossible that Jokowi is becoming inconsistent [with his governmental choices]. Jokowi would never commit political suicide," he said, adding that the House of Representatives would also support Budi's candidacy.

Observers have said that some of the president's picks for key government positions — including the appointment of PDI-P stalwart Yasonna Laoly as justice minister — are indications of political horsetrading.

Budiman is set to replace Gen. Sutarman, who is expected to retire later this year.