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 Worrying mutiny in the House

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BerichtOnderwerp: Worrying mutiny in the House    do 30 okt 2014 - 21:52

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta,Thursday October 30 2014

Simmering tensions between rival coalitions in the House of Representatives boiled over on Wednesday, with the dueling camps at the legislative body, the Red-and-White Coalition and the Great Indonesia Coalition, each establishing its own leadership of the House and internal bodies.

Challenging a unilateral decision made by the Red-and-White Coalition to name the leaders of the House and its internal bodies, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)-led Great Indonesia Coalition announced a separate House leadership, with senior PDI-P politician Pramono Anung Wibowo appointed as speaker and the National Awakening Party’s (PKB) Abdul Kadir Karding, the United Development Party’s (PPP) Syaifullah Tamliha, the NasDem Party’s Patrice Rio Capella and the Hanura Party’s Dossy Iskandar Prasetyo serving as deputy speakers.

The PDI-P claimed that the leadership would soon begin working to bring an end to the standoff, which has paralyzed the House more than a month after its induction.

“[…] In order to ensure that the House functions properly, we’ve agreed to elect our own speaker and deputy speakers. Also, we hereby file a vote of no confidence against the current House’s chairmanship,” PDI-P lawmaker Arif Wibowo announced on Wednesday.

Arif said the Great Indonesia Coalition made the decision after failed negotiations with the current leadership of the House, which it deemed “authoritarian” and biased toward the Red-and-White Coalition.

He said that the current leadership had also violated internal House regulations when it blocked a motion from politicians of the Great Indonesia Coalition to present arguments at plenary meetings.

“We decided to hold our own plenary meetings in addition to other meetings,” Arif said.

Lawmaker Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat, chairman of the NasDem faction at the House, stressed that forming its own leadership of the House was the only way for the Great Indonesia Coalition to exert its influence.

“It is clear now that the five factions [within the Red-and-White Coalition] aim to control the House through authoritarian means. With their power, they will force the government to bow to their demands and they want us to accept the deal as well,” Victor said.

The Great Indonesia Coalition’s decision to appoint its own speaker and deputy speakers came just minutes after the Red-and-White Coalition — which has secured a majority of seats in the House — tightened its grip on the House by placing politicians in charge of the House’s internal bodies, including its commissions, through a controversial selection process.

During the selection process, House deputy speakers — all of whom are members of the Red-and-White Coalition — pressed ahead with proceedings without the presence of any lawmakers from the Great Indonesia Coalition.

Article 251 of the House’s internal regulations stipulates that meetings of a House internal body can proceed only when at least 50 percent of lawmakers are present and six political factions represented. The selection process proceedings met the attendance quota, but failed to fulfill the party representation requirement, with only the Golkar Party, the Gerindra Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Democratic Party factions present.

Lawmakers from the PPP were registered for each of the meetings, but none of them attended to protest a decision made by the House leadership to only recognize the PPP faction led by embattled PPP chairman Suryadharma Ali.

House Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon from Gerindra insisted that the selection of all leadership positions was legal despite the absence of PPP lawmakers.

Constitutional law expert Yusril Ihza Mahendra said that the House feud constituted a setback for the country’s democracy. “This country cannot move forward if one group maintains control in either the legislative or the executive branch of government,” Yusril said.

( The rot is setting in early! The opposition is squabbling amongst each other already, a clear case of too many bad apples fermenting the broth! ) si K's opinion

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