Mon, 23 Sep 2002

NGOs reject reconciliation with Sutiyoso

Ahmad Junaidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Several non-governmental organizations (NGO) rejected last Saturday an offer to reconcile with elected Governor Sutiyoso and Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo, saying that they no longer trusted the two officials.

Interviewed separately by The Jakarta Post, commander of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) Jaffar Siddiq and chairman of the Betawi Peoples Association (POB) Habib Marzuki considered that the reconciliation offer was merely empty rhetoric.

"There's no problem with silaturrahim (reconciliation), as our disagreement with Sutiyoso is not personal. But we no longer trust him (Sutiyoso)," Jaffar said.

He believed that Sutiyoso and his administration would not fulfill public aspirations, voiced during his first five-year term, in his next one.

Habib supported Jaffar's opinion, saying the reconciliation would only be an empty gesture in Sutiyoso's interest without any real implementation in the future.

"They can offer reconciliation or whatever. But we are sure that it will not be implemented," he said.

Both Marzuki and Jaffar agreed with other NGOs that they would file a citizen's lawsuit demanding the court annul the recent gubernatorial election result due to alleged irregularities.

FPI, POB and several other NGOs staged rallies earlier against Sutiyoso. Several FPI and other NGO members were injured during a rally in front of the City Council building on election day, Sept. 11.

Fauzi revealed last Friday that he and Sutiyoso planned to meet people who had earlier rejected their election as a part of a reconciliation effort to optimize the city administration's performance in the future.

"As a human being I will engage in silaturrahim, both with those who supported and rejected us," Fauzi, currently serving as city secretary, said.

However, he appreciated that the offer might not be accepted, saying the administration would continue with or without the support of those who disagreed with him.

Besides NGOs, the Justice Party also rejected the offer, demanding that an investigation into the alleged irregularities be conducted beforehand.

The NGOs, the Justice Party and the National Mandate Party still could not accept the election result due to the irregularities.

At least three councillors of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle have admitted to voting in favor of Sutiyoso.

"There were 27 councillors from the party who marked their ballots in support of Sutiyoso," councillor Audi I.Z. Tambunan said last Friday.

Failed gubernatorial candidate Mahfudz Djaelani recently made a shock confession that he had paid Rp 200 million to 40 councillors as a down payment on a bribe totaling Rp 2 billion if the councillors had elected him as governor. Mahfudz, who only secured three votes, later retracted his statement.

Sutiyoso and Fauzi secured 47 votes, more than half of the 84 councillors.