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PRD proposes DPR commissions be temporarily frozen

Tempo Interactive - November 2, 2004

Suliyanti, Jakarta – The deputy chairperson of the People's Democratic Party (PRD), Lukman Halim, has proposed that the People's Representative Assembly (DPR) commissions be temporarily frozen in order to cool down the increasingly sharp dispute developing between the parliament and the government.

Furthermore said the party, who's head office is located in Tebet, South Jakarta, they are proposing the formation of a flexible and democratic working group as the emergence of two camps, the People's Coalition and the Nationalist Coalition, has only served sharpened the dispute.

The People's Coalition is a grouping of parliamentary fractions including the United Development Party, the Democratic Party, the National Mandate Party, the Justice and Prosperity Party and the Democratic Pioneer Star Party. The Nationalist Coalition meanwhile is made up of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Golkar Party, the Star Reform Party and the Peace and Prosperity Party.

The dispute between the two camps was triggered by the pro- and contra-positions taken over the replacement of TNI (armed forces) Chief General Endiartono Sutarto. PRD general secretary Zelly Ariane says that they will soon be holding a meeting with a number of social organisations over the issue.

On Human Rights Day which falls on December 10, the party will take to the streets to articulate its demands. Their aim is to try to gauge the reaction of the legislator to see if they still preoccupied with their own interests or are working for the benefit of the people.

According to Ariane, the proposal for the formation of a working group represents the most neutral way to show the people that the DPR still cares [about their welfare].

This week they will be sending a letter to the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) calling on them to end the dispute and to fight for amendments to the newly enacted law on the TNI, the Anti-Terrorist Law and other legislation which needs to be discussed urgently. The PRD chose the PKS as a bridge with the DPR because according to the PKS themselves they have a high level of support among the people.

[Translated by James Balowski.]