Jakarta (ANTARA) - Regional Representatives Council (DPD RI) Speaker La Nyalla Mahmud Mattalitti said he is keen to strengthen the council's institutional function as Indonesia's decentralized democracy guarantees regions to have a say in law-making processes.

"DPD RI has a strategic role in synchronizing interests of the central and regional governments. We have also petitioned two judicial reviews to the Constitutional Court to review the Legislative Institutions Law, known as the MD3 Law," Mattalitti stated here Monday.

Speaking at a workshop for members of the United Development Party (PPP) faction at regional legislative bodies across Indonesia, he said the MD3 Law still contain chapters that reduce constitutional authorities though the Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of the DPD RI during the judicial reviews.

"This means those, who drafted the MD3 Law did not respect the Constitutional Court's ruling," he affirmed.

Mattalitti criticized the legislators for having failed to serve as a role model of law-abiding citizens by not respecting the Constitutional Court's ruling compelling them to draft laws that granted more power to the DPD RI that represented Indonesian provinces.

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The DPD speaker suggested drafting a new law on the DPD RI that makes the assembly at par with the DPR RI that has its own legislation.

"We admit that to create a new law on the DPD RI is challenging, as it is the government and the DPR RI that have the final say in our current law-making process. Hence, we suggested the constitutional amendment to grant more powers to the DPD RI," Mattalitti noted.

The DPD RI must serve as the counterpart to the DPR RI in ensuring checks and balances in the decisions taken by the lower house -- comprising political party representatives with different interests -- as the DPD senators represented regional interests instead of political parties, he remarked.

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Translator: Boyke Ledy Watra, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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