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Pressure to hold an extraordinary congress is mounting among cadres of the National Awakening Party (PKB). There are indications that Yenny Wahid and Yaqut Cholil Qoumas are gathering support to take over the position of general chair. Muhaimin Iskandar is maneuvering, asking for the support of the Presidential Palace and grooming his older brother to lead the party.
The Indonesian Ombudsman finally intervened in the rice import polemic last March. Agency Chair Mokhammad Najih said the government’s planned rice import ahead of the prime harvest season had discomposed the public, particularly farmers, while in fact the import would not become necessary until May. Moreover, the agency also found maladministration in the policy making process. Najih added that the Ombudsman had strengthened its role in helping improve the public service quality. In addition to following through with public reports and complaints, it will continue to enhance oversight of the ministries and state agencies. The focus of the watchdogs’ new board will be on economic development issues and their impact on public services. Najih also highlighted the need to expand his agency’s authority.
Expert staff member, Ahmad Iman Syukri, is suspected of trading echelon I and II positions at the villages, disadvantaged regions and transmigration ministry. As someone placed at the ministry “on behalf” of PKB General Chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar, Ahmad is also suspected of collecting project fees, which has negatively impacted the ministry’s budget absorption and programs.