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Jakarta Post

Indonesia's DPD plenary session turns ugly

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, April 3, 2017   /  11:05 pm
Indonesia's DPD plenary session turns ugly Regional Representatives Council (DPD) member Ahmad Nawardi from East Java (center) speaks during a plenary session of the council in Jakarta on Monday. The session turned chaotic as councilors argued with each other amid power struggles within the council. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

Monday’s plenary session of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) erupted in chaos when councillors began protesting the eligibility of speakers tasked with leading the meeting. The commotion is believed to be result of a protracted power struggle brewing within the DPD.

The plenary session was initially scheduled to begin with a read-out of a Supreme Court verdict on the annulment of DPD regulations related to the tenure of its leadership. With the annulment, some councillors believed the current speakership should have been retained.

Those who disagreed argued that the verdict had lost its legal basis “due to several typos,” and regulations that they believed should allow them to elect new speakers, were therefore still active.

(Read also: DPD speakership election violates law, experts say)

Councillor Basri Salama, for example, interrupted by claiming that deputy speakers Farouk Muhammad and Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hemas were legally not allowed to open the session as they should have ended their tenure at the end of March.

“An acting speaker should host the meeting. Otherwise, this session and all of the following proceedings are deemed illegal,” he shouted.

Farouk slammed both arguments and banged his gavel, fueling councillor Ahmad Nawardi to storm the podium and forcefully grab a microphone. He was about to speak when another councillor rushed forward and stopped him. From there, the meeting quickly turned chaotic as members from both camps joined the clash, with some seen getting involved in a physical altercation.

As of 6 p.m., the session failed to conclude on any issues. (bbs)