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Draft political law conflict with freedom of association and assembly - Papernas

okeyzone.com - June 27, 2007

Haryanto Kurniawan, Jakarta – Stipulations on the establishment of political parties contained in the draft law on political parties will make things more difficult and conflicts with the principles of freedom of association and assembly.

This was conveyed by the general secretary of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas), Harris Sitorus when speaking with okeyzone on Wednesday June 27. Sitorus was referring to Article 2 Paragraph 2 of the draft law.

“This is in contradiction with the guarantee of freedom of association and assembly as part of the human rights guaranteed by the 1945 Constitution. This article also conflicts with [other] points in the draft law”, he explained.

Sitorus said that its precisely this article that discriminates against ordinary people attempting to establish a political party outside of the existing parties that are seen to have failed and are unable to struggle for the wishes of the people.

He said that efforts at simplifying the political parties that are being forced through would endanger democracy. Indonesia he added is one of the most authoritarian countries in the world in terms of establishing political parties. “As an a example, in Britain there are some 50 political parties that participate in elections, although two obtain the majority of votes. Why doesn’t Indonesia at the same time just copy the People’s Republic of China that prohibits all political parties except the Chinese Communist Party?”, he asked rhetorically. (jri)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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