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Jakarta Residents Decry Proposed Law as Threat to Democracy

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BNN Correspondents
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Jakarta Residents Decry Proposed Law as Threat to Democracy

Residents of Jakarta, the bustling metropolis of Indonesia, are expressing vehement opposition to a proposed law, the Rancangan Undang-Undang (RUU) Daerah Khusus Jakarta. This draft legislation suggests that the Governor and Deputy Governor of Jakarta should be appointed by the President, rather than elected by the populace. The draft law has sparked widespread controversy, with critics arguing that it curtails democratic rights and undermines regional autonomy.

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Voices of Jakarta

At the heart of the controversy are the common citizens of Jakarta, who feel that their right to participate in the democratic process is being threatened. Rahmat Fathan, a 27-year-old resident of the city, argues that the law would strip Jakarta residents of their sovereignty to choose their leaders. He questions the urgency of the proposed law and suggests potential nepotism behind the President's appointment. Similarly, Pingkan Anggraini views the draft as a step away from democracy, emphasizing that even if Jakarta is no longer the capital, citizens should retain the right to vote. On the other hand, a street vendor named Izul remains indifferent, his focus is on his daily struggle to provide for his family, oblivious of the political storm brewing.

RUU DKJ: A Step Backward?

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The draft law states that the Governor and Deputy Governor will be appointed and dismissed by the President, taking into account the proposals or opinions of the Regional Representative Council (DPRD). Critics of the draft law argue that this provision marks a return to centralism, violating the democratic process and regional autonomy.

The proposed law has drawn unfavorable comparisons to the previous direct local elections known as Pilkada, which, despite their own issues with fraud and gambling, allowed Jakarta's residents to elect their leaders. The Chairman of the RUU DKJ Working Committee, Achmad Baidowi, explained that the norm was created as a compromise in response to aspirations that there should be no local elections but rather direct presidential appointments.

Future Implications

As the debate over the draft law continues, the implications of such a significant shift in Jakarta's political landscape are yet to be fully understood. However, the voices of dissent and opposition indicate a deep-seated desire among Jakarta's residents to retain their electoral rights. In the face of potential centralization and loss of regional autonomy, the citizens of Jakarta are standing up for their democratic rights, setting the stage for a significant political showdown.

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