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Jakarta Post

COMMENTARY: Huge setback, but not an end to democracy

  • Endy Bayuni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 10, 2017   /  08:10 am
COMMENTARY: Huge setback, but not an end to democracy Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama waves upon arriving at the Cipinang Detention Center in East Jakarta on Tuesday (May 9, 2017). (Antara/Ubaidillah)

Indonesia’s march to democracy suffered a huge setback with Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the blasphemy case against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. In the now all-too-familiar Indonesian democratic dance of “two-steps-forward and onestep-back,” what we saw was an aberation, with the nation taking five or more huge steps backward. But if we still have faith in democracy, we know Indonesia will soon return to the normal rhythm. Since we began on this march toward democracy in 1999, Indonesia has come too long a distance for us to simply give it up now. The march is never smooth and the nation has to fight every single step of the way. Ahok’s guilty verdit was surely a tragedy for democracy. This is no time for regrets, however. What is required is hard work on our part to get back to where we were before. The court ver...