Democrats: SBY's Regional Elections Decree Doesn’t Need Revision

BY :MARKUS JUNIANTO SIHALOHO

JANUARY 20, 2015

Jakarta. The Democratic Party faction at the House of Representatives says it will oppose any revision of the contentious presidential regulation in lieu of law on regional elections.

Commission II at the House, which deals with home affairs, on Monday approved the regulation but nine out of ten parties represented said that revisions should be made. The Democratic Party faction said that the regulation, issued during the presidency of Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is already perfect.

“We don’t want any more revisions. The regulation itself already contains enough substance on the direct regional election system and revisions from the previous law. It already includes suggestions to make the elections better,” Commission II member Saan Mustopa, a Democrat, said on Tuesday.

Moreover, making revisions will take time and Indonesia needs the new law immediately, Saan added, as more than 200 local elections are set to be held simultaneously this year. The process of preparing more changes will affect the preparations for local elections, he stressed.

“It will be difficult for the KPU [General Elections Commission] to do its job,” the politician said.

The presidential decree, or perppu, last year restored regional elections for governors, mayors and district chiefs by superseding a law enacted by the House that, days prior, scrapped direct regional elections for sub-national executive offices in favor of legislative appointments by regional legislative councils, or DPRDs.

Opposition parties from the Red-White bloc, including representatives from the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Golkar Party and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), supported the law at the commission meeting on Monday. All were instrumental in abolishing direct elections last year.

National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Sukiman said his party had decided to accept the law and it was now up to the House to approve. But like other opposition parties, Sukiman said PAN still wanted revisions made.

Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has indicated that the government is open to revisions.

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