KPU Commissioner arrested by KPK

Line-up of the 7 KPU commissioners 2017-2022, 1 of which was arrested by KPK for alleged bribery. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) has arrested an Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) Commissioner in a sting operation taken place on Wednesday (08/01/2020). Generation V KPK leaders have embarked on their tenure with a bang: within the past two days, KPK under General Commissioner Firli Bahuri staged two sting operations. Firli stated that Wahyu Setiawan was caught in a sting operation for bribery. KPK arrested both the briber and the bribed in the operation. 

KPK arrested Wahyu during a flight to Bangka Belitung. Lion Air Group’s Strategic Corporate Communications Officer, Danang Mandala Prihantoro, stated that Wahyu was on Lion Air flight ID-6826 to Tanjung Pandan from Soekarno-Hatta Airport. 

When they heard the news, KPU Chairman Arief Budiman and several other KPU Commissioners, i.e. Pramono Ubaid Tantowi, Ilham Saputra, and Viryan Azis went to the KPK office. Arief stated that KPU will be cooperative in regard to any law enforcement KPK imposes on Wahyu. “I am quite concerned about this issue. Naturally, KPU fully entrusts all subsequent processes to applicable legal regulations. Let law enforcement officers follow the process up as they should,” he said at KPK Building, Jl. Kuningan Persada, South Jakarta, on Wednesday Rabu (08/01/2020). 

Wahyu was a KPU Commissioner who has been most outspoken on the issue of corruption. For example, in the 2018 Regional Elections, he strongly stated that he wants KPU to formally prohibit former corruption convicts from registering as candidate regional heads through Election Commission’s Regulation (Peraturan Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “PKPU”). Furthermore, he insisted on implementing this requirement despite rejections from Commission II of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”). At the time, DPR’s rejection was based on the fact that Law No. 10 of 2016 concerning Regional Elections did not contain such prohibition. Wahyu was equally outspoken against letting former corruption convicts as legislative candidates in the 2019 Elections. He shared the view of other KPU Commissioners that corruption is an extraordinary crime, as corruptors violate the mandate given to them. 

KPK arrested three persons other than Wahyu, one of them apparently being Democratic Party of Struggle (“PDIP”) Legislative Candidate Harun Masiku. The identity of the other two is still unknown, other than their initials being “D” and “S”. According to gathered information, the bribe was related to Interim Replacement (pergantian antar waktu – “PAW”) of seats in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”). Harun is suspected of having lobbied Wahyu in order to secure a seat in Senayan. 

Harun was a PDIP Legislative Candidate for the DPR, setting out from Electoral Region South Sumatra I as Candidate Number 6. The Region includes the City of Palembang and the towns Musi Banyuasin, Banyuasin, Musi Rawas, Musi Rawas Utara, and Lubuklinggau. He was not appointed as DPR member in the 2019 Election to replace the deceased Nazarudin Kiemas. KPU appointed Riezky Aprilia for the position instead. 

PDIP requested that the KPU strike Riezky out of the list of appointed DPR members and submitted Harun instead during KPU’s Plenary Meeting on 31 August 2019, but KPU refused. When asked for confirmation, KPK Vice Chairman Nurul Ghufron stated that investigations are ongoing. “The case involves about IDR 400 million in cash, which was received by WS via D and S,” he said. 

Meanwhile, PDIP’s General Secretary Hasto Kristiyanto stated that he is unaware of this development. “I am in the middle of preparing for a work meeting,” he said. 

Sixth KPU commissioner to be arrested 

Wahyu Setiawan is not the first KPU Commissioner to be arrested by the KPK. According to the data in KPK’s official website, five other KPU RI Commissioners were arrested before him: First, KPK arrested KPU Commissioner Mulyana Wira Kusumah in April 2005 with IDR 150 million as evidence. Second, KPU Commissioner Achmad Rojadi was arrested in September 2005 for being involved in the procurement of ink for the 2004 Elections. Third, KPU Commissioner Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin was arrested in May 2005 for his involvement in the KPU’s tactical fund flow, a case worth IDR 20 billion. Fourth, KPU Commissioner Rusadi Kantaprawira was arrested in July 2005 for his involvement in the 2004 Elections ink procurement case, which also involved KPU Commissioner Achmad Rojadi. Fifth, KPU Commissioner Daan Dimara was arrested in February 2006 for being involved in the procurement of vote seal cases in the 2004 Elections. 

Wahyu was one of the seven Commissioners of KPU RI appointed for the 2017-2022 term, along with Arief Budiman, Pramono Ubaid Tanthowi, Ilham Saputra, Hasyim Asyari, Viryan Azis, and Evi Novida Ginting. He started his career as electoral organizer in 2003, when he was appointed as KPU Commissioner from the Regency of Banjarnegara. He later became Chairman of KPU in Banjarnegara for two successive terms, i.e. 2003-2008 and 2008-2013. Finally, he went on to become a member of the Central Java Provincial KPU for 2013-2018. During his electoral organization career, Wahyu earned a number of awards, such as the Partnership Award from the Banjarnegara Regional Police in 2010, the KPU Member Task Orientation Award from KPU RI in 2013, and the Information Service Management Technical Guidance Award and the Voter Educational Model FGD Award from KPU RI in 2015. 

Wahyu is an alumnus of the 17 of August 1945 University’s Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Semarang in 1997. In 2007, he graduated from the Post-Graduate in Administrative Sciences program of General Soedirman University, Purwokerto, with a thesis relating to elections titled The Public Organization Performance Study on the Performance of KPU in the Regency of Banjarnegara in 2007

The State Administrator Personal Asset Report (Laporan Harta Kekayaan Penyelenggara Negara – “LHKPN”) per 31 December 2018 records that Wahyu has total assets of IDR 12.8 billion. This is comprised of immoveable assets in the form of nine land and building lots (inheritance) located in Banjarnegara, Central Java, valued at IDR 3.35 billion. His moveable asset includes vehicles and machinery valued at a total of IDR 1.025 billion, i.e. a Toyota Innova 2012 car valued at IDR 190 million, a Honda Jazz 2012 car valued at IDR 125 million, a Mitsubishi All New Pajero Sport 2018 SUV valued at IDR 660 million; a Honda Vario 2010 motorcycle valued at IDR 6 million, a Yamaha F 1 ZR 2003 motorcycle valued at IDR 4 million, and a Vespa Sprint 2017 motorcycle valued at IDR 40 million, as well as other moveable assets valued at IDR 715 million. Wahyu reported that he has cash and cash equal assets at IDR 4.98 billion, and other assets valued at IDR 2,742,000,000. (dan)