Indonesia: Corruption Allegations Force Resignation

Published: 25 February 2013


The head of Indonesia’s ruling party has stepped down a day after the nation’s anti-corruption agency singled him out as a suspect in a graft investigation, according to Al Jazeera. The Corruption Eradication Commission accused Anas Urbaningrum, Chairman of the Democratic Party, of receiving illegal payments in connection with a sports complex construction project.

The sports complex under investigation is valued at $122 million. While the Commission did not specify exactly what types of payments were made, media reports indicate Urbaningrum received a car worth $75,000, according to the Washington Post. According to auditors, up to $25 million was lost to the state due to irregularities in the complex construction deal. 

The corruption allegations could prove especially harmful to the current government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is a member of the same political party as Urbaningrum. Yudhoyono ran as the “Mr. Clean” of Indonesian politics in his 2009 reelection campaign.

The Democratic Party has since been rocked by a series of corruption scandals. In 2012, a party member who was serving as sports minister was named as a suspect in an investigation into the same sports complex. He was given a six-month travel ban while the probe continues.  Last month, another party member was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in connection with $3.6 million in kickbacks. In 2012, the party treasurer was jailed for four years for corruption.