City

Bogor mayor showing weakness
in GKI Yasmin saga: Lawmaker

A House of Representatives legislator criticized Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto for being weak and partial in handling the GKI Taman Yasmin church-closure case, calling on the city council to launch an impeachment.

Diani’s latest move was to allow hardline group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) to stage a rally at Bogor City Hall on Sunday against the establishment of the church, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that the church was legal.

HTI is believed by many to be opposed to the state ideology of Pancasila.

“Diani should have thought better of allowing his administration’s facilities to be used in the interests of a radical group. His weak leadership is more than enough to encourage the Bogor council to launch an interpellation right,” said one of the deputy chairmen of House Commission II on domestic affairs, Ganjar Pranowo from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), on Tuesday.

The interpellation right could open the way for the regional legislators to issue their rights on stating political opinions or as it is more commonly understood as an initiative for impeachment.

Ganjar also said that Diani had to remember that the right of GKI Yasmin church members to hold religious services in their own building was upheld by the Supreme Court and therefore he believed the mayor had to comply with the law rather than forcing the congregation to relocate.

Representatives of the GKI Yasmin congregation visited the House of Representatives on Tuesday as part of their struggle to secure their rights with regard to the church building.

The church has been barred from conducting its religious services inside its own building due to an ongoing legal battle with the Bogor administration led by Diani, who claims that there were many objections from nearby residents to the congregation.

Separately, constitutional expert Irman Putra Sidin said that the most obvious way to settle the GKI Yasmin church controversy laid in the hands of the Bogor council, the only institution that had the authority to remove Diani from his post if he was found to have violated the law by not complying with the court’s ruling.

Meanwhile, House speaker Marzuki Alie from the Democratic Party said that all stakeholders should settle their differences through dialogue.

One of the House deputy speakers, PDI-P’s Pramono Anung, said that the legislative leadership had agreed to conduct a joint meeting which would involve House commissions along with government representatives, such as the Home Ministry, to settle the GKI Yasmin church issue.

“We will also invite representatives from the church to the meeting,” he said.

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