Small parties want more money
BANDUNG: At least 16 political parties in the West Java town of Subang threatened on Thursday to boycott the April 5 election, because they were disappointed by the decision of Subang regent not to distribute party campaign funds equally.
They came mostly from small political parties, including the Pancasila Patriots' Party, the Pioneers' Party, the Freedom Party and Democratic Party.
Heryadi TS, the spokesman for the 16 parties, said that the demand followed a councillor meeting where they decided in early March to propose to the Subang government, that it distribute Rp 1 billion to the 24 political parties competing in the 2004 election. The money is from the Subang 2004 budget and is meant to be used by the political parties to help finance their campaigns.
But, the councillors, most of them from large parties, proposed that the funds be distributed in proportion to the number of votes they each got in 1999.
The new political parties were only allowed Rp 3 million each.
The big parties, quite obviously had an unfair advantage. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which won the most of votes in the 1999 election, got Rp 235 million campaign funds, while Golkar also got Rp 235 million.
When the proposal was approved by the regent and then the funds were distributed recently, the small political parties reacted angrily. ""This is unfair,"" Heryadi said.
He said that the small political parties would not sign the official ballot counting report, unless ""the problem is fixed."" -- JP