The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary general Tjahjo Kumolo said on Friday that President and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) had broken the hearts of the Indonesian people with the decision of his lawmakers to walk out of the plenary meeting on the regional elections (Pilkada) bill at the House of Representatives (DPR).
During the meeting, lawmakers from the Democratic Party, which supported direct elections, decided to walk out because the 10 amendment points proposed by their party had been rejected. Therefore, when the voting was conducted, votes from the camp supporting direct elections, which consisted of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Hanura Party, only totaled 135, which were far fewer than the 226 votes cast by the camp supporting indirect elections, which consisted of the Golkar Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP) and the Gerindra Party.
Tjahjo said that Yudhoyono, as the Democratic Party's chairman, should have prevented his lawmakers from walking out because he had the power to control them.
'Pak SBY, who had been voted in by the people, was proven to have violated his promise [to support direct elections]. He has disappointed the people who want direct elections,' he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
He said he was still questioning why Democratic Party members decided to walk out. When they walked out, it meant that they gave the camp supporting indirect elections a way to win.
He said he believed that if Yudhoyono had instructed his members to not walk out, they would have complied with his instruction. Unfortunately, he did not do that.
Yudhoyono had previously said that he fully supported the direct-election system through a video uploaded to the party's Suara Demokrat account on Youtube. That support was previously believed to have assured a victory for the camp supporting direct elections because the number of lawmakers from the Democratic Party totaled 148. However, the camp supporting indirect elections instead won the vote because the Democratic Party decided to walk out. (alz)
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