Democracy must include peace, economic growth: President

"Democratic consolidation is a continuous process which must receive room for freedom, but must be accompanied by obedience to the law," the president said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said democracy could not operate alone, but must proceed side-by-side with peace, stability and economic growth so that democracy benefits the people.

"Democracy cannot run alone, but must be harmonized with other aspects, such as peace, stability and economic growth," the president wrote on his twitter account on Thursday.

Yudhoyono said that democracy was a continuous process that must be followed by obedience to the law.

"Democratic consolidation is a continuous process which must receive room for freedom, but must be accompanied by obedience to the law," the president said.

On Thursday, President Yudhoyono attended the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), which also saw participants arrive from countries throughout the world.

The forum revolved around a theme on democratic consolidation in a pluralistic society. The President said this theme was relevant to democratic developments in Indonesia and in other countries.

In his address to the forum, Yudhoyono underlined the importance of promoting democratic values through peaceful means.

"Allow me to reiterate the need to realize democracy based upon civil values and by avoiding anarchy through peaceful means," he said at the opening of the Sixth Bali Democracy Forum in Bali on Thursday.

The BDF was attended by Sultan Hassanah Bolkiah from Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, as well as representatives from the Asia Pacific region and observers from outside the region.

President Yudhoyono warned that although democracy was built on noble values to create a civil society, chances remain for violence to be used as a means to achieve goals.

"We are now living in an era where various kinds of democratic practices, across the spectrum, are being implemented," he stated.

In view of this, he called for the continued promotion of inclusive principles and public participation as the soul of a democracy to benefit future generations.

"Let us preserve our democracy by promoting tolerance, mutual respect and good will," he asserted.

The annual forum, held since 2008, is scheduled to discuss the development of democracy in the Asia Pacific region and aims to promote regional and international cooperation.(*)

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