Indonesia's Golkar Party names new House Speaker

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre), with Golkar Party politician Ibnu Munzir (left), newly-elected party chairman Airlangga Hartarto (second left) and two other Golkar politicians, Nurdin Halid (second right) and Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita (ri
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre), with Golkar Party politician Ibnu Munzir (left), newly-elected party chairman Airlangga Hartarto (second left) and two other Golkar politicians, Nurdin Halid (second right) and Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita (right), at the opening of the party's meeting. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA - Golkar party appointed lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo on Thursday (Jan 11) to replace disgraced Setya Novanto as Speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives, reported Jakarta Globe.

Novanto is standing trial on corruption charges for his suspected involvement in a 2.3 trillion rupiah (S$229 million) scandal linked to a national electronic identity card scheme.

Bambang is currently the chairman of the House's Commission III which oversees human rights, security and legal affairs.

Golkar politician and lawmaker Ahmadi Noor Supit confirmed the party's decision and said the announcement will be made officially at Golkar's plenary meeting, reported Antara news agency.

Earlier on Thursday, Golkar party executive Zainudin Amali was quoted as saying by Jakarta Post: "Bambang has the highest chance (to become the House speaker). If we are talking about opportunities, he has most of them."

On Nov 21 last year (2017), Novanto was relieved of his duties as chairman of Golkar party, the second biggest in Parliament. He resigned as House Speaker in December.

Novanto, 62, has been charged for allegedly receiving at least US$7.3 million (S$10 million) in kickbacks and a Richard Mille wrist watch worth about US$135,000 for his role in ensuring the electronic identity card project would be approved by Parliament.

Prosecutors said in their indictment that Novanto received the funds through some corporate bank accounts in Indonesia and overseas to avoid detection.