Subject: KMP: PRD threatened with ban over E Timor call
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 08:38:38 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Monday, 12 April 1999

If True That East Timor Was Urged To Boycott The Election Government May Break Up PRD

Jakarta, Kompas Online

The authorities have taken a tough attitude toward the suggestion of Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD) urging that the General Election 1999 should not take place in East Timor (Timtim). The government will be making a close study if the challenge was made in seriousness by PRD, or as a remark to draw attention.

"We will check it out. If it turns out that an intensive movement is behind the words to boycott the election of Timtim, tough measures will be taken," said the Director General of General State and Regional Autonomy Affairs (PUOD) Department Home Affairs, Ryaas Rasyid, on Saturday (10/4) in Jakarta.

It is known that Minister of Home Affairs, Syarwan Hamid, protested the statement made by PRD which rejected an election in East Timor. Party leader Budiman Sudjatmiko is campaigning for a referendum in Timtim. PRD also refuse to recognise the Political Laws of 1999, comprising Laws for Political parties, the Election, and the Structure and Seatings of the People's Consultative Assembly/House of Representatives/Regional House of Representatives (Kompas, 10/4)

Ryaas nurtures a positive opinion about the PRD statement which was brought up at Timtim at the opening of the local District Election Committee (PPD) I on March 29 recently. If, however, PRD has in mind to urge a boycott of the general election, he said, government will jump into action.

After Timtim, PRD might urge people in Aceh, Ambon or others to boycott the general election. They would then be clearly a threat to the nation's unity," he said.

Ryaas confirmed that a political party could be broken up or frozen when it proved to be a threat to national unity. Ryaas referred to article 3 and article 17 of Laws No.2/1999 in concern with Political Parties. Article 3 of the Law stipulates, political parties may not pose a threat to unity of the nation.

While article 17 verse (2) stresses, The Supreme Court of Indonesia carries authority to freeze or break up political parties if they have violated article 2, 3, 5, 9 and article 16 of this law.

The Supreme Court will take this action after hearing and taken into considerations informations from the respective party leaders and after a legal process has been conducted.

The freezing or breakup of a political party may be done after a court decision of a permanent nature has been taken and announced in the State Bulletin by the Minister of Justice.

Ryaas stressed that government shall not act recklessly where legal action against PRD is concerned, as such an action has to be checked out first and enforced with accurate proof. The more so since PRD has formally been accepted as a participant in the general election.

"They (PRD) reject the Political Law 1999, but participate in the election and sit in the General Election Commission. They urge Timtim people to boycott the election while Timtim is still part of the Indonesian Republic. How do you like that?" said Ryaas. (*)

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