Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has described the village heads' demand for an increase in their office term as acceptable and invited them to submit their aspirations before the parliament.

"That is a demand, an aspiration, and (village heads) can present their demand to DPR RI (Indonesian House of Representatives)," he said on the sidelines of reviewing the development of the Ciliwung River Waterway to the East Flood Canal (KBT) here on Tuesday.

According to Law No. 6 of 2014 on Village, village heads' term of office is six years, and they are eligible to serve for a maximum of three terms, he noted.

Changes to the office term hinge on the parliament, which has the authority to amend the Village Law, he added.

"The law is crystal clear (in expounding) that the office term is six years (and limited to) three terms. Any process (to change the law) is on DPR RI," he said.

Earlier, politician and former legislator Budiman Sudjatmiko said that the President had agreed to modify the village head's office term so that they get more time to address social conflicts in their communities.

Last Tuesday (January 17, 2023), Sudjatmiko informed that Widodo had asked him about the demonstrations staged by village heads demanding changes to the Village Law.

"The President asked me about everything that I know (about village issues) because so far, I have helped and assisted in village issues," the politician added.

Sudjatmiko said he informed Widodo that the village heads are demanding that the parliament revise the Village Law to increase their term of office to nine years.

The rationale for the demand is that the village heads need to address social issues that arise in tightly-knit communities, which can redirect their focus away from realizing village development, hence they need a longer office term, he expounded.

He also clarified that he did not intend to represent the village heads' interests, saying his meeting with the President was only to inform him about village issues.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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