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Jakarta Post

Join the ride of opposition pluralist parties

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 29 2009   /  01:13 pm

A friend sent a text message a few minutes after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced his Cabinet lineup, saying Yudhoyono's new non-economic ministers were people with moralistic and anti-pluralist track records. The friend, an activist and public lawyer, explicitly said the appointment of Tifatul Sembiring, president of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), as communication and information minister would harm freedom of press and of expression, a pillar of democracy. Suryadharma Ali, the chairman of the United Development Party (PPP), who was made the religious affairs minister, was once known for suggesting the banning of the Islamic sect Ahmadiyah. Although famous for his anticorruption stance, the new Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi, who was also West Sumatra governor, did nothing when several regencies and municipalities in his province applied sharia-inspired byla...