Sunday, October 14, 2012

1) Police Drop Probe Into Gubernatorial Campaign Violation

1) Police Drop Probe Into Gubernatorial Campaign Violation
2) Gubernatorial election in Papua resumes
3) Indonesian Government, Contractor in Dispute Over LNG Revenue
1) Police Drop Probe Into Gubernatorial Campaign Violation
Zaky Pawas | October 13, 2012

Police have dropped an investigation into an alleged campaign violation involving a key backer of Jakarta governor-elect Joko Widodo, saying the rival camp that reported the matter had no grounds for a case. 

Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, the Jakarta Police spokesman, said on Friday that an order was issued on Tuesday for the dropping of a probe into television advertisements that aired on Aug. 27 and featured prominent political figure Prabowo Subianto, in his role as chairman of the Association of Indonesian Traditional Market Traders (APPSI), endorsing Joko. 

The ad was reported to police by the camp of Fauzi Bowo, the incumbent whom Joko went on to defeat in the Sept. 20 poll, because it aired ahead of the official campaign period. 

However, Rikwanto said police investigators had concluded that the APPSI, which paid for the ad, was in no way affiliated with Joko’s campaign team, hence the accusation by Fauzi’s team that his opponent had violated campaign rules was groundless. 

“Fauzi’s team wanted charges pressed under the 2004 Regional Governance Law and the 2004 Electoral Campaigns Law, but those charges are inapplicable because the APPSI was not part of the campaign team,” he said. 

“Similarly, their bid to bring charges against APPSI secretary-general Ngadiran did not meet the requirements.” 

He added that police had questioned several witnesses in the case, including Ngadiran, the production company that made the ad, and electoral officials. 

In addition to being the APPSI chairman, Prabowo is also the co-founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), one of the two parties that backed Joko and his running mate, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
2) Gubernatorial election in Papua resumes
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Sat, 10/13/2012 9:52 AM | Archipelago
The Papua gubernatorial election process has resumed with the issuance of the Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD) Decree No. 33/2012, dated Oct. 5, 2012, on the time schedule of the election.

Decree No. 33/2012 was issued following a decision from Constitutional Court (MK) Decision Letter No. 3/SKLN-X2012, which was announced on Sept. 19, 2012, during the trial verdict of the KPUD’s lawsuit to the MK regarding the authorization of the implementation of the election, which was carried out by the Papua legislature.

Before the KPUD filed the lawsuit, the Papua legislature had already opened the registration process for Papua gubernatorial candidates based on Special Provincial Bylaw No. 6/2011 on the election of the Papua governor and deputy governor.

Based on the MK ruling, the Papua gubernatorial election process has been reinstated, while candidates who have registered at the Papua legislative council will be transferred to the Papua KPUD to take part in the following election process.

Seven Papua gubernatorial candidate pairs have so far registered at the Papua legislative council; Habel Melkia Suwae-Yop Kogoya, M.R. Kambu-Blasius Pakage, Alex Hesegem-Marthen Kayoi, and Lukas Enembe-Klemen Tinal, nominated by political parties, and independent candidate pairs; Welington Wenda-Weynand Watori, Noak Nawipa-John Wob, and John Karubaba-Willy B. Magai.

In the schedule set by the Papua KPUD, the election process commences from the opening of registration for those candidates who have not yet registered at the Papua legislative council.

“The other candidates who have not yet registered have been given another chance to register at the Papua KPUD. We’ve formulated a schedule for independent candidates to register from Oct. 8 to 12 and those nominated by political parties from Nov. 8 to 14, 2012,” explained Papua KPUD head Benny Suweni.

The election has been rescheduled for Jan. 29, 2013. “The people of Papua have been waiting a long time to pick their leaders. We hope the scheduled election will be carried out on time,” he said.

The Papua gubernatorial election has been postponed for more than a year.

“Had it taken place according to the normal schedule, the election would have been held on Sept. 26 last year,” said Benny.

Independent candidate pair Yan Piter Yembisa and Heemsberche Bonay have registered themselves at the Papua KPUD on Oct. 12, after it opened registration for gubernatorial candidate pairs. Former Papua governor Barnabas Suebu and his running mate, former Tolikara regent John Tabo, ensured they would register as candidates on Nov. 10, 2012.

“We picked the date because it is in line with the Papua KPUD schedule,” said Daniel Gerden, Barnabas Suebu and John Tabo’s campaign team leader.

3) Indonesian Government, Contractor in Dispute Over LNG Revenue

Tito Summa Siahaan | October 13, 2012
State oil and gas regulator BPMigas said that it is ready to approve the Plan of Further Development for a Tangguh liquified natural gas plant in Papua. The firm, though, wanted the development of the $12 billion project to not result in the reduction of state revenues from the LNG plant, the largest in Indonesia.

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, the deputy for planning at BPMigas, said on Friday that the discussion of technical and administrative matters for the expansion plan has been conducted in accordance with the existing regulations. “The operator, however, needs to clarify several things first, among [them] the imposition of cost,” he said in a telephone interview on Friday. 

The London-based energy giant BP has a 37.16 percent stake in the project, which involves exploiting several gas blocks said to contain some 14.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

BP planned to add another train — a unit that purifies and liquefies natural gas — to the existing two trains in the complex. When completed in 2017, it will increase natural gas production by 3.8 million tons per year. Currently, annual production stands at 7.6 million. 

Widhyawan explained that the contractor has requested that some of development costs of the third train — which is considered a part of the cost recovery — should be cut directly from the government’s shares in the other units. The proposal was rejected by the government. 

“We want state revenue from Tangguh LNG train one and train two not [to be] reduced due to the development of Tangguh LNG train three.” 

In the oil and gas industry, cost recovery is defined as a scheme that allows oil and gas companies that hold exploration rights to expense their exploration costs to the government, which then shares in the revenue from the oil blocks’ production. 

Widhyawan noted that the request is related to the regulator’s success in renegotiating LNG sales to the American firm Sempra Energy. 

Based on the original contract, Sempra will receive as much as 3.7 million tons of LNG annually from the Tangguh project, with the government having an option to sell 50 percent of its quota to another buyer. 

“Due to our efforts, we managed to increase our quota to 90 percent, thus increasing the amount of state revenue [earned],” Widhyawan added. 

As Sempra’s gas price is tied with the market in the US, where prices are low due to a boom in shale gas production, the Indonesian government can receive a better fare by selling the quota on the spot market in Asia. 

“We rejected the contractor’s request, as the success of the renegotiation [required much] effort and the output from trains [one and two] is not related [to] the development of the [third train],” Widhyawan added. 

He said that BPMigas is hoping that there will be an agreement between parties so the process of approval for the expansion plan can be completed. 

“We will approve the plan immediately after clarification related to some of the [issues provided].”

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