Democrat to support if Jokowi decides to continue BDF

Democrat to support if Jokowi decides to continue BDF

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) with Timor Leste Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao in Bali Democracy Froum (BDF) VII Nusa Dua, Bali, last Friday (October 10, 2014).(ANTARA/Nyoman Budhiana)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonos Democrat Party has said that it would give support if president-elect Joko Widodo later decides to continue the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF).

"There is nothing wrong for Jokowi (Joko Widodo) to continue the Bali Democracy Forum as based on experience so far the presence of influential figures in the event has produced recognition of democracy in Indonesia. The Democrat Party will support Jokowi to continue the forum," a politician from the Democrat Party, Michael Wattimena, said here on Sunday.

The Bali Democracy Forum was initiated by President Yudhoyono in 2008 and has so far been the pride of the President.

Michael said President Yudhoyono created the Bali Democracy Forum to promote democratization process in Indonesia.

The forum is held for an exchange of experience and ideas as well as certainly exposing the implementation of democracy in Indonesia as an example for other countries.

"Jokowi like SBY (President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) are the fruits of democratic process in Indonesia. So, we are expecting a continuation of the program. Good programs are worth continuation including the Bali Democracy Forum," he said.

Michel did not deny that the recent enactment of the regional election law (Pilkada law) has raised questions about SBYs support to development of democracy in Indonesia.

"Although SBY has issued Perppu Number 1/2014 (regulation in lieu of law) to revoke the Pilkada law he still continues receiving criticism while the fact is that the issuance of the Perppu is his concern towards the upholding of democracy. So, it will be our task to explain to the public that the 10 points the Democrat Party proposed ahead of the vote are our genuine intention to improve the implementation of the direct system of elections," he said.

"Regretfully a number of political party factions in the House of Representatives has rejected our proposal (leading to the passage of the Pilkada bill). So, this Perppu will be SBYs bet instead of an image-building effort," he said.

In view of that Michael hoped the political wrangling relating to the passage of the Pilkada bill would not damage the image of the Bali Democracy Forum so that it would still be continued under the government of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla.

Referring to deputy foreign minister Dino Patti Djalal he said that "almost all participants have called for the continuation of the event considering its usefulness for them."

"In view of that we therefore hope that the Jokowi-JK would listen to their aspirations and continue the annual event which has gone well for the past seven years in the future," he said.

International figures have attended the event so far and the 7th BDF this year, which ended recently, was attended by three heads of state namely President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor Leste and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam.

A number of non-governmental organizations in the country have decided to be absent at the event in protest against the passage of the Pilkada bill.

(Reporting by Syaiful Hakim/Uu.H-YH/A014)