SBY urges Democrat Party to fight for direct election system

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has called on party members to fight for direct regional election system, stated the chairperson of the ruling Democrat Party faction in the House of Representatives (DPR) Nurhayati Ali Assegaf.

"He has clearly directed his party members for a full-fledged fight for direct election system with 10 main improvements," she remarked at the Democrat Party headquarters here on Monday.

She issued the statement after SBY, who is also the general chairman of the Democrat Party, received strong criticism from various quarters following the passage of the bill on regional election (Pilkada) on Thursday that will change the current direct system of election of provincial governors, district heads, and city mayors by the people into an indirect one by members of the regional legislative assemblies (DPRD).

Nurhayati affirmed that the Democrat Party did not veer from its stance and did not seek posts with regard to its decision to stage a walk-out during the vote that finally paved the way for the passage of the bill.

She stated that the 10 points of improvement were presented at the plenary meeting with the objective of improving the implementation of direct election.

She denied rumors that the decision to walk out was taken following the order of SBY.

She confessed that she had not communicated with SBY while he was on working visits abroad and before the decision was taken.

"I have never received a text message from him or even communicated with SBY with regard to the decision," she added. (*)