Jakarta councilor to sue political party IDR1 trillion following dismissal

Jakarta DPRD Councilor Viani Limardi. Photo: Facebook/vianilimardipsi
Jakarta DPRD Councilor Viani Limardi. Photo: Facebook/vianilimardipsi

A Jakarta City Council (DPRD) member accused of several violations is retaliating against her political party with a mammoth lawsuit following her dismissal.

Councilor Viani Limardi was officially dismissed from the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) — arguably Indonesia’s most socially progressive party but has received criticism in recent years for selling out to the government — on Sept. 25. 

In her termination notice, PSI alleged that Viani routinely marked up her allocated constituency fund for personal gain. PSI also said Viani violated the party’s code of ethics during a controversial incident in August, during which she reportedly complained and exclaimed that she “makes the rules” when a traffic police officer denied her car access to a road to observe the city’s odd-even traffic rule.

Furthermore, PSI said Viani refused a pay cut amid the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.

Viani has hit back against her firing, saying she intends to sue PSI for IDR1 trillion (US$69.9 million).

“It’s all rotten lies that were intended to destroy my character,” Viani said yesterday.

Viani denied the mark-up allegations, saying she received IDR302 million (US$21,118) that she disbursed for the development of her electoral district. She claims she has even returned IDR70 million (US4,895) of the unspent fund to the Jakarta DPRD.

“All this time I was forbidden to speak [by PSI], and I wasn’t even given the chance to offer clarification over the incidents. For example, during the odd-even incident in which people said I clashed with the officer, I was made to apologize without justification and over something I did not do,” she said.

PSI has eight seats at Jakarta DPRD. Following Viani’s dismissal from the party, another PSI cadre is expected to take her place, though the replacement process is expected to take up to three months.

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