Maryadi, Jakarta – Around 70 people who claimed they were from Ngawi, Magetan, from the East Java city of Madiun, demonstrated at the Constitutional Court building on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Monday April 19.
They were rejecting the decision by National Election Commission which annulled Article 60 (g) of Law Number 13/2003 on the Elections which allowed ex-members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) to become members of the legislator and regional representative councils (DPD).
Demonstrating in the name of the community of anti-Communists and the victims of the PKI, they called on the Constitutional Court to annul the decision. They said that the decision contradicts the preamble to the 1945 Constitution and Article 29 of the Constitutions which states that the nation is based on Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa [the Great Unity, God].
They said that the Constitutional Court’s decision was legally invalid because the People’s Consultative Assembly Decree1 still prohibits the ideology and teachings of the PKI and does not allow the organisation to exist in Indonesia. Furthermore they said that the MPR Degree has a higher legal authority than decisions by the Constitutional Court.
The demonstrators also said that the Constitutional Court’s decision will give an opening to the reemergence of communist teachings and the PKI and that they will fight against anyone who brings these teachings back to life.
Speaking before the demonstrators, Ahmad Rustandi, one of the Constitutional Court judges, said that the Constitutional Court’s decision was not intended to bring the PKI back because to this day, the PKI’s teachings are still outlawed. “What was changed was only Article 60 (g) which allows people who were involved in the PKI to become legislators and [members of the] DPD”, said Rustandi. (nrl)
1. Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS) Decree Number 25/1966 on the Dissolution of the Indonesian Communist Party and Prohibitions on Marxist, Leninist and Communist Teachings. In August 2003, the annual session of the People’s Representative Assembly debated a motion to annul the decree. All of the major political parties rejected the proposal. However on February 24, 2004, the Constitutional Court took a historic decision to annul Article 60 (g) in the Law on Elections which had bared members of the PKI from running as legislative candidates.
[Translated by James Balowski.]