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Jakarta Post

Commentary: Testing democratic resilience: Free speech versus freedom from fear

  • Endy M. Bayuni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 21 2019   /  12:09 am

Indonesia’s democracy faces a big litmus test on Wednesday when the General Elections Commission (KPU) is scheduled to announce the results of the April 17 election amid plans for massive protests by the camp of Prabowo Subianto, who challenged incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the presidential race. Complicating the matter is the police warning of a terrorist plot to create chaos in postelection Indonesia. Police are struggling between ensuring the freedom of speech of the protesters on the one hand and guaranteeing national security, most particularly from terrorist threats, on the other. They are now having to define the limits of freedom of expession that would keep the nation safe.Democracy is not only about holding free and fair elections, which on this score, Indonesia passed with flying colors after holding one last month, the fifth in the last 20 years. Democracy is also n...