April 12th, 2009 in Breaking News, Police State
Indonesia, a democracy teetering toward a police state?
Commentary: Indonesia, a democracy teetering toward a police state | The Jakarta Post.
For all its faults and shortcomings, this week’s legislative elections confirm that democracy is taking root in this country. The scale of the elections is so daunting — 171 million voters, more than 500,000 polling stations, and 15,000 seats at the national and regional legislatures — that something is bound to go wrong here and there. By and large, these elections have reaffirmed Indonesia’s claim as the world’s third largest democracy.
As always, somebody has to spoil the day, and this time, of all people or institutions, it’s the National Police — the very force that is supposed to ensure the elections proceed in a democratic, free and fair fashion.
There was the arrest of two whistle-blowers and the interrogation of journalists who reported their claims of election violations, and there was the arrest of Papuan students a few days ahead of the elections for advocating people boycott the polls, which led to the eruption of violence in Papua on Election Day on Thursday. In February, the East JavaPolice chief was removed, and his investigation into claims of fraud in last year’s gubernatorial election was virtually halted.
Commentary: Indonesia, a democracy teetering toward a police state | The Jakarta Post