Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Woman activists protest Golkar

JAKARTA: Woman activists from various groups expressed on Friday their support for House of Representatives legislator Eka Komariah Kuncoro, who has been sidelined by the Golkar Party through a mid-term replacement procedure.

The women, who represented Women's Solidarity (SP), Women's Voice Empowerment Movement, Women's Coalition, Indonesian Women's Congress (Kowani), Indonesian Women Politicians Caucus (KPPI), Women's Parliamentary Caucus (KPP) and the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro), hailed Eka as a tough fighter for women rights in the legislature, and someone who deserved her seat despite the fact that she had signed a replacement agreement in 1999.

"Women account for only 8.9 percent of the House's membership. The proportion is inadequate to encourage the fight for women's rights, and the replacement of Mrs. Kuncoro by a man has worsened this situation," said Ina Soetjipto from Cetro.

Eka claimed to have been forced to sign her resignation letter.

A Golkar official, Baharuddin Aritonang, accused Eka of trying to renege on a deal she had earlier made for the sake of a House seat. He said the case had nothing to do with gender. -- JP