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Prabowo's 'Neo-New Order' coalition seeking to destroy democracy

Detik News - September 26, 2014

Nala Edwin, Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto's Red and White Coalition has succeeded in returning the election of regional heads into the hands of Regional Representative Councils (DPRD) as it was under the New Order dictatorship of former President Suharto.

As conveyed by Golkar Party chairperson Aburizal Bakrie, there are signals that they want to change the Constitution back the way it was along with 22 other pieces of legislation.

Jakarta Deputy governor Basuki T. Purnama or 'Ahok' has even suggested that in the future there is concern that the Red and White Coalition will change the Constitution so that the president is again chosen by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR, upper house). What is the view of socio-political observers?

"Later their name will not be the Red and White Coalition but the Neo-New Order Coalition (neo-Orba)", said political observer Arie Sudjito from the Gadjah Mada University on Friday September 26.

Sudjito even suspects that there is a systematic effort underway by the Red and White Coalition to destroy the democratic order. An this is being motivated by purely pragmatic interests.

"If this is allowed to happen then bit by bit Indonesian politics will fall into a pattern of a new authoritarianism and be in conflict with democracy", he explained. According to Sudjito, in a situation such as this the administration of president elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will become a pillar of and a custodian of democracy in the context of stemming the rise of the Neo-New Order.

"If the parliament is controlled by neo-Orba groups then the challenge will be how can people's power be cultivated as a pillar to overcome anti-democratic forces. This cannot be considered of no importance because the effort to enact the law on regional elections [returning authority] to the DPRD may well be followed by strengthening the MPR to become the highest state institution that can be manipulated in order to return to the president being elected by [parliamentary] representatives. If this is the direction that the neo-Orba coalition is heading then only the power of civil society can prevent it", he explained.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]

Source: http://news.detik.com/read/2014/09/26/182424/2702672/10/semoga-koalisi-merah-putih-tak-jadi-koalisi-neo-orba.

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