Golkar Raises Pressure Over Century

By webadmin on 12:17 am Jan 30, 2010
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Muninggar Sri Saraswati

Top Golkar Party officials on Friday spared no effort in their push for legal action against both Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati for their roles in the controversial PT Bank Century bailout, even as Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie denied the party had held any official discussions about seeking Boediono’s removal from office.

House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso, a top Golkar lawmaker, said the party had found indications of criminal violations in the Bank Century bailout “that would likely shock” Indonesians. He said the party planned to announce its recommendations during an upcoming session of the House of Representatives special committee investigating the bailout.

Priyo’s statement came a day after the party said it had found 58 separate violations in regard to the 2004 merger of three banks to form Bank Century, in the central bank’s approval of a short-term liquidity loan for Bank Century in 2008 and in the bailout of the bank itself.

The bailout was approved by Sri Mulyani, as finance minister and head of the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK), and Boediono, who was central bank governor at the time.

Golkar lawmaker Azis Syamsuddin, a member of the House special committee, said Golkar “may recommend” the alleged violations by Sri Mulyani be dealt with by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). He said a report on the alleged violations committed by Boediono during the 2008 bailout could be forwarded to the Constitutional Court, to “review his post as vice president.”

Aburizal, who has been accused of attempting to use the House investigation to oust Sri Mulyani because of an ongoing tax dispute involving his companies, said on Friday that launching impeachment procedures was difficult and that Golkar had no plan to introduce such a motion against Boediono.

After Aburizal won the Golkar chairmanship last year, the party threw its weight behind President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The president responded by giving the party three cabinet seats.

Aburizal has denied any interest in the vice presidency, even as some Golkar members have said they believe the party, which has the second largest number of seats in the House, deserves it.

Zainal Bintang, a senior Golkar member, indicated that there had been heated debate within the party over whether to follow the path taken by the ruling coalition, led by Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party.

“I think Golkar should be able to separate supporting the government from being independent within the House,” Zainal said. “People will look at Golkar’s performance in the probe. This will influence their choices in the 2014 elections.” He added that some Golkar members in the Aburizal camp considered it “necessary to please” the Democrats.

Zainal is a supporter of Surya Paloh, who lost to Aburizal in the Golkar chairmanship election.