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Traditional Council wants President Widodo to allow local political parties in Papua

CNN Indonesia - August 26, 2020

Jakarta – Papuan Traditional Council (DAP) Second Secretary John Gobay is asking President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to quickly issue a government regulation on the mechanisms for establishing local political parties in the Land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known.

"The president [can] use his right of discression in accordance with the 1945 Constitution to issue a government regulation on the formation of local political parties in Papua", said Gobay during a virtual discussion on Tuesday August 25.

According to Gobay, Widodo needs to do this because Law Number 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua Province fails to clarity the issue.

One example of this is Article 28 Paragraph (1) which reads, "The population of Papua Province can form a political party".

Gobay also questioned the phrase "population of Papua province" in the paragraph because the meaning of Papuan population is open to wide interpretation and does not narrow this to infer participation by indigenous Papuan people (Orang Asli Papua, OAP).

"We must be firm that local [political] parties not be formed by the Papua population, but say that it must be by OAP. If indeed we are to address the issue of the participation of OAP in the administration through local parties", he said.

Gobay offered an alternative if the phrase "Papua population" must continue to be used. According to Gobay there must be a percentage and clear consideration given to the proportion of indigenous Papuan people in parliament.

Gobay believes that the formation of local parties in Papua could increase the participation of Papuan people in elections and reduce the practice of money politics.

Speaking in the same vein, former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva believes that the government does indeed need to issue a government regulation to implement Law Number 21/2001, particularly with regard to the formation of local political parties.

Zoelva referred to Article 5 Paragraph (22) of the 1945 Constitution which gives the authority and responsibility to the president to enact government regulations to implement legislative stipulations.

"So it is sufficient that the procedures for the formation of and the details on Papua Parlok [local parties] to be stipulated in a government regulation. There is no reference in existing laws, there's no match", said Zoelva.

The confusion over local Papuan political parties has already been taken before the Constitutional Court. The leadership of the United Papua Party (PPB) said they felt that they had lost out because they could not take part in elections.

The Papua provincial General Elections Commission (KPU) rejected the party's factual verification and refused to allow them to take part in the 2019 legislative elections because no regulation exists on local political parties in Papua.

The PPB then submitted a judicial review with the Constitutional Court challenging Article 28 Paragraph (1) of Law Number 21/2001. The Constitutional Court however has yet to make a ruling on the case. (khr/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Dewan Adat Minta Jokowi Lekas Terbitkan PP Partai Lokal Papua".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200825142736-32-539061/dewan-adat-minta-jokowi-lekas-terbitkan-pp-partai-lokal-papua