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Jakarta Post

New House members to be sworn in amid mounting distrust

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana and Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 1, 2019   /  09:05 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Members of the House of Representatives for the 2014-2019 period pose for photos after their final plenary session on Sept. 30. Newly elected lawmakers for 2019-2024 term will be inaugurated a day later on Oct. 1.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

The 575 newly elected members of the House of Representatives will be officially sworn into office on Tuesday, amid ongoing nationwide protests expressing public distrust of the competence of lawmakers in the legislative process. Over the past week, the largest student demonstrations in over two decades have largely focused their ire at the House, criticizing a number of controversial bills and urging lawmakers to pass bills deemed important, such as the antisexual violence bill and the domestic workers bill. A common chant throughout the protests – "25 jigo, 25 jigo, DPR bego” – disparaged the lawmakers as being stupid. With over 50 percent of incoming House members consisting of incumbents, observers are skeptical that the legislative body will be able to turn around public opinion. Between 2014 and 2019, the House passed 91 bills into law, only 36 of...