Fri, 18 Jul 2003

Nine political parties pass first screening

A'an Suryana, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Nine political parties have passed the screening by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, paving the way for their participation in the general elections in 2004, when the country will hold its first ever direct presidential election.

"The nine political parties have met the requirements stipulated in the political party law," justice and human rights minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra said here on Thursday.

Political Party Law No. 31/2002 stipulates that a party must have offices in more than half of the nation's provinces, and in more than half of the regencies or municipalities of those provinces, and more than half of the districts in those regencies or municipalities.

The 2004 Election Law stipulates that the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has the authority to decide whether or not a political party meets the requirements.

Political parties that pass the ministry's screening will have to undergo further screening by the General Elections Commission (KPU) to determine whether or not they are eligible to join the elections in 2004.

The parties are the first batch eligible to be screened by the KPU.

The ministry is now screening another batch of political parties.

Yusril said 61 political parties had registered with the ministry and were waiting to be screened.

Political parties have to register with the ministry by Aug. 31 at the latest in order to be screened. Screening ends on Sept. 27.

Indonesia will have its first ever direct presidential election between June and August 2004, which would be preceded by the legislative election on April 5, 2004.

Parties that have passed the screening:

1. Justice Party of Prosperity (PK Sejahtera)

2. Democratic Catholic Party (PKD)

3. Indonesian Union Party (PSI)

4. Justice and Unity Party of Indonesia (PKP Indonesia)

5. Crescent Star Party (PBB)

6. Crescent Party of Reform (PBR)

7. Love the Nation Democratic Party (PDKB)

8. National Concern Party (PKPB)

9. Love the Nation Peace Promoter Party (PPDKB).