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MUI opposes 'troublesome and detrimental' direct elections

Republika – September 15, 2014

Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) believes that the election of regional heads should be carried out by regional legislative councils (DPRD) because representative elections through the DPRD can minimalise the negative aspect of direct elections.

"The MUI believes that they [direct elections] bring nothing good and only cause trouble [mudharat] and are detrimental [mafsadah]", MUI chairperson Kiai [Islamic teacher] Ma'ruf Amin told Republika Online at the MUI's office in Jakarta on Monday September 12.

Amin said that the decision [not to support direct elections] was taken by MUI ulamas [Islamic scholars] based on a legal decision through the interpretation of the Koran [ijtihad] in 2012. The mujtahid [scholars certified to interpret religious law] held that the negative aspects of direct elections are greater than representative elections.

"The kiai were split, there was a grouping of cross-community figures, not to mention money politics, so the participants in the meeting at the time deemed that there was more mudharat", he said.

The MUI has appealed to society to trust in and leave the deliberations of the law on regional elections to the House of Representatives (DPR). "We [should] leave it up to those in authority to make regulations", he said.

Kiai Ma'ru believes that the focus of the MUI's deliberations were not on the democratic aspect but more on considering the mudharat and the mafsadah.

There is pressure to change the mechanism of regional elections in the Draft Law on Regional Elections (RUU Pilkada). The Red and White Coalition is pushing for direct elections to replaced by elections through DPRDs.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "Putusan MUI 2012: Pilkada Langsung Banyak Mudharatnya".]

Source: http://www.republika.co.id/berita/nasional/politik/14/09/15/nbxq8w-putusan-mui-2012-pilkada-langsung-banyak-mudharatnya.

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