12 May 2009
Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates -- Wealth Reports
The Presidential Election Law, specifically Article 14(1), says that all presidential and vice-presidential candidates must declare their wealth by filling in the necessary form and filing it with the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi / KPK). Once the filing is made the candidate will be issued a receipt acknowledging that the wealth report has in fact been lodged.
The purpose of wealth reports has never really been to verify the wealth noted but rather as a means of ensuring that state officials do not enrich themselves during their period of public service. This is in spite of plenty of people thinking that candidates (and state officials) once they have declared their wealth must be made to justify where that wealth has come from where there is suspicion over where their wealth originates.
This seems to run counter to the idea of their being a presumption of innocence and clearly shifts the burden from the KPK to prove the wealth is ill-gotten to the person reporting their wealth.
The usual claim for unexplained wealth is that it is an inheritance. This is a good explanation because the originator of that wealth is dead and unable to explain where it comes from. Very convenient.
The obligation does not officially kick in for a candidate until they officially declare and register their respective candidacies with the General Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum / KPU). This registration process opened yesterday (10 May) and runs through until 16 May 2009. The KPK expects that they will start the verification process on 21 May 2009.
Once again, the verification process is to determine that candidates have reported all their current wealth rather than a fishing expedition to find ill-gotten wealth. At least this seems to be how things pan out with wealth reports.