Dems side with opposition against Perppu on mass groups
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Margareth S. Aritonang
The Jakarta Post
The Democratic Party has joined a group of political parties challenging a new regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) that allows the government to disband mass organizations without the need to go through court proceedings.
The party said the Perppu, issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last week, was a threat to freedom of assembly and democracy. “A restriction on the freedom of assembly will stir up conflict,” Democratic Party executive Agus Hermanto said.
Jokowi issued the Perppu a few months after announcing a plan to disband Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which is considered anti-Pancasila as it promotes the creation of an Islamic state in Indonesia.
The government has said that the 2013 Mass Organizations Law, which requires the government to file a request with a court to ban a mass group, had stymied the government’s efforts to safeguard state ideology Pancasila and national unity.
Besides the Democratic Party, two other opposition parties – the Gerindra Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) – and the National Mandate Party (PAN), which is part of the government coalition, have also criticized the Perppu.
Human rights activists have also criticized the Perppu, which they say is prone to abuse and could be used to silence political dissent.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to hold a plenary meeting this week to decide whether to endorse the Perppu. (ary)
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