Rabu, 14 Januari 2009
The general Elections Commision said on Monday that now that is has the goverment's support, its plans to goverment's support, it plans to stand firm on its a proposal that a goverment regulation-in-lieu of law be issued its ensure that a minimum number of women are elected in the national legislative elections on April 9.
State Minister for Women's Empowerment Meutia Hatta said on Monday that regulation would provide a legal basis for the commision, or KPU, to proceed with its plans to support female candidates.
"We have understand that this affirmative action, "Meutia said. "The Constitutional Court verdict was a step backward for affimative action, but we hope this move by the KPU will work."
Last month, the court struck down an article in the election law to establish a majority-vote situation, under which succesfull candidates would be elected based on ranks set by their on parties.
Previously, the KPU had maintened a system that guaranteed at least one female candidate, to ensure that women would occupy at least a third of the seats in the House of Representatif.
The Constitutional Court dismissed this article, however. On Monday, the KPU said that proposed new regulation would insure that even if a party only presented two candidates, on of them would still be a woman.
In previous elections, most parties only gained two seats in each election area. The new proposal, therefore, would ensure that women occupy at least 30 percent ot seats in the House.
Meutia said the new proposal should be more effective in establishing gender equality and fairnessn in the political proces.
Abdul Hafiz Anshary, the KPU's chairman, said on Monday that the proposal needed the support of women's right activists and politicsian to pass. "Please back this plan, so the House will approve it," Hafiz said.
Lena Maryana, a United Development Party, or PPP, member in the House, said she supported the plan. "This is special because women have been marginalized," she said. "Women have limited resourses compared to men, making it difficult to compete.
Hafiz said that because the regulation-in-lieu-of law would only be valid for three months, the KPU was also planning to issue its own regulation on the quota idea this week. This was because the election results won't actually be announced untill Mei 9, aafter the elections and more than three months from now.
"If house members approve the goverment-sponsored regulation-in-lieu-of-law, it will al ready be invalid when most of the vote counting occurs, "Hafiz said.
"So we have already drafted our own regulation and will inform political parties of it(on Jan 24.
Ganjar Pranowo, a House member from the Indonesian Democratic Party of struggle, or PDI-P, said the KPU is not a regulatory body. "It should not create laws,' he said.
"Only the House and the goverment can issue laws.