Papernas – a party of the peasantry and working class

Source – December 19, 2006
Protest action by the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (Metro Sulawesi)
Protest action by the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (Metro Sulawesi)

Rafiqa Qurrata Ayun, Jakarta – Political parties are already starting to make preparations in the lead up to the 2009 general elections. New parties are also emerging. Like the case of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) that is targeting peasants, workers and the urban poor as its constituency.

A number of organisations were behind the establishment of Papernas. These groups include the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD), the Urban Poor Union (SRMK), the National Farmers Union (STN), the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI), Indonesian Buddhist Students (MBI) and the BNI Trade Union of Struggle (SPP-BNI).

These groups then formed the Papernas Preparatory Committee (KP-Papernas) as the pioneer of Papernas that has its offices at Jl. Tebet Barat Raya No 5 in South Jakarta.

“The first congress was held on June 22 in Jakarta. There was no definitive leadership yet”, said Papernas general secretary Lukman Hakim during a press conference at the party’s headquarters on Tuesday December 19.

The plan is that during the second congress that will be held in late January 2007, KP-Papernas will register the party with the General Election Commission. A definitive leadership structure will also be put together during the congress.

Lukman explained that the sources of the party’s funds are from its affiliated organisations and through the Rp 500 Movement. “At every activity or mass action, the leadership as well as the sympathizers always donate 500 rupiah per person”, he said.

KP-Papernas chairperson Dominggus Oktavianus Kiik meanwhile said that their party is targeting 30 percent of the vote from some 110 million workers in Indonesia.

Dominggus explained that Papernas’ vision is contained in the Three Banners of National Struggle: Abolishing the foreign debt, the nationalisation of mining industries and a national industrialisation program that will not be allowed to be dependent on private or foreign investment. (fjr/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]