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PRD finally registered as political party

Suara Pembaruan - February 25, 1999 (slightly abridged)

Jakarta – After a meeting between three [government] bodies on Wednesday afternoon (24/2), the State Intelligence Coordinating Body (Bakin), the Department of Justice Political Party Registration Council (Depkeh) and the Political General Directorate of the Department of Home Affairs (Depdagri), the People's Democratic Party (PRD), has been officially registered as a political party.

The head of the Central Leadership Committee of the PRD, Faisol Reza, who was contacted by Pembaruan on Wednesday night confirmed that the PRD has been registered as a political party. However he explained that because the decision was may by the three special [government] bodies it sets a bad precedent for the development of democracy in the future.

Prior to the decision, the PRD held a press conference in the Depkeh waiting room over the Depkeh assessment that the PRD is still using political terms of the Old Order, such as progressive revolutionary and people's social democracy.

Faisol, who was accompanied by the head of the PRD's Department of Propaganda, Wilson, and lawyer Danil, said that in the era of reformasi Depkeh must accommodate different viewpoints. The basis of using Old Order terms was only a camouflage and political manipulation to prevent the PRD for from becoming formally and legally registered.

Faisol also explained that last year the PRD had already won a suit against the decision by the Minister of Home Affairs to ban the PRD as a political party.

Faisol himself predicted that the government, through the bureaucracy, will continue to try to create problems and even ban the PRD from participating in the coming general elections.

"There is a significant possibility that they will play around in the National Election Committee (KPU) in the next stage [of deciding which political parties are eligible to participate in the elections]", said Faisol. Nevertheless, the PRD will continue to try to participate in the general elections.

[Translated by James Balowski]