Fri, 03 Jan 2003

'Power law must be annualled'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Monday to annul the 2001 electricity law.

The coalition said the law must be annulled because it violates the spirit of the 1945 Constitution.

The NGOs also said the law was invalid because the House of Representative failed to meet a quorum at the plenary session in which the law was endorsed in September 2001.

The coalition consists of the Association of Legal Advisers and Human Rights in Indonesia (APHI), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (PBHI) and the 324 Foundation.

Dorma Sinaga, the chairman of APHI, said the electricity law "grossly" violated the spirit of the Constitution by endorsing free-fight competition in the country's electricity sector.

According to him, the Constitution rules that the electricity sector is public property. As such, it must be controlled by the government for the maximum benefit of the people and should not fall into private hands.

According to the coalition, the endorsement of the law was invalid because only 248 House members attended the session to endorse the law. According to the House's internal rules, an endorsement is only considered valid if a session is attended by more than half of all House members.

At the time of the endorsement, there were 500 members of the House.