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Local Papuan political parties ‘ran aground’ in Jakarta



Illustration of Papua United Party logo – Jubi. Dok

Jayapura, Jubi – Special Autonomy (Otsus) Papua will be ended in 2021, but one of the mandates of Special Autonomy Law, namely the formation of local parties, has not been implemented.

Several years ago, indigenous Papuans formed local political parties. Papua Legislative Assembly (DPR) then issued a special regional regulation (Perdasus) of local political parties. However, the effort was foundered in the hands of central government in Jakarta.

The Minister of Law and Human Rights annulled the decree of local political party, Partai Papua Bersatu. The Minister of Home Affairs also rejected the Perdasus of local political parties, for no apparent reason.

“If there is anything that needs to be fixed in the Perdasus, it should be submitted to us. Sitting with us to discuss that,” said Papua legislator in charge on legislation body, Natan Pahabol to Jubi.

The Papuan House of Representatives will invite Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), as a cultural institution, to jointly promote the recognition of Perdasus and the presence of local political parties in Papua, before the end of Otsus.

“At that time we went alone because MRP members have not been inaugurated. In the future, we will invite them to coordinate with Domestic Affairs Ministry (Kemendagri), to discuss which articles or paragraphs in the Perdasus need to be revised,” said Natan.

If necessary, the Papuan Legislative Assembly will present to the ministry the intention and purpose of forming a local political party in Papua, as it is permitted under the Special Autonomy Law.

“Local political parties need to be formed immediately to accommodate the rights of indigenous Papuans. There is no reason for the central government against it, because it is mandated by the Special Autonomy Law, we do not ask for anything else,” he said.

Political ‘dowries’ to political parties

In the midst of the chaotic nomination of regional heads in Papua, when ‘political dowries’ favored wealthy candidates cannot be avoided, the existence of local political parties is considered necessary.

The so-called local political parties can be the solution to break political transaction links, which are carried out by members of national party at the central board level.

“If we only hope that national political party, whose decision is on the party’s in Jakarta, it is difficult to bring out a figure that is really supported by public, since the recommendation of political party support will lead to ‘political dowry’,” he said.

“That is bad for democracy and deadly for its potential for the region. There are candidates who really supported by the community, but because of dowry, he did not pass it,” he continued.

The existence of local political parties and its Perdasus, are not only rejected by the central government, but also still debated in Papua itself. There are parties who approve the formation of local political parties. However, some are judged to have no permanent legal force.

The mandate of Chapter VII article 28 paragraph 1 in the Special Autonomy Law of Papua said, indigenous Papuans are entitled to establish a political party, not a local political party, so it is not strong enough to be used as a legal reference for the establishment of local political parties.

It need further legal guidance or judicial review to the Constitutional Court (MK), to get a legal certainty of article 28 paragraph 1 in Papua Special Autonomy Law, to avoid multi-interpretation.

From the institutional side, the Papua Election Commission supports the existence of local political parties, even this institution will fight for special KPU Regulation (PKPU), if local political party in Papua have got legal recognition.

“We often discuss the issue of these local political parties at the national level. We have even visited Aceh to see how the local political parties in the province,” said Chairman of KPU Papua, Adam Arisoi.

Adam agrees the need for further legal advice on the establishment of political parties in Special Autonomy Law, as it is not specified.

“This is a broad explanation, so it needs further legal guidance, because it could be a national political party but domiciled in Papua,” he said.

Papua United Party

That is why the efforts of local political parties, Partai Papua Bersatu (Papua United Party) to register as one of the election participants to the Election Commission of Papua, in October 2017 ran aground. KPU does not want to take risks because there is no clear legal umbrella.

“In principle we accept that. But please respect the institution, because we have rules. If it is said that the local political party is legal, we will not refuse,” he said.

The reason KPU Papua could not accommodate local political parties is understandable. In order to perform its duties and functions, KPU refers to the mechanisms in its law and PKPU. A political party is in the Law Number 7 Year 2017 on General Election.

The existence of local Papuan political parties is different from Aceh. Local political parties in ‘Serambi Mecca’ Aceh were recognized by the state because one part of the Helsinki agreement, 2005, said so. They even have three legal forces, which are accommodated by laws, government regulations, and provincial regulations.

Chairman of the Partai Papua Bersatu, Kris Fonataba said that his party established local political parties several years ago, to implement the amendment of the 1945 Constitution and Chapter VII article 28 paragraph 1 of the Special Autonomy Law of Papua, which calls indigenous Papuans entitled to establish a political party.

“We already have 29 regional chapters in 29 districts and cities in Papua. The existence of this local party is an implementation of the Special Autonomy Law,” said Fonataba.(


Provincial health team takes more rest than work, says Kopkedat




GIDI church missionaries, pastor and Kopkedat Papua provide public health services in Okmakot Village, Seradala Sub-district, Yahukimo District. – Jubi/Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Humanitarian Care Community for Remote Areas Papua (Kopkedat) Yan Akobiarek states despite education, public health services in Papua’s remote areas are still an issue.

Although the provincial health office has provided services to remote areas through several health programs such as Satgas Kaki Telanjang, Save Korowai and Nusantara Sehat, these programs have not well implemented.

“I think sending teams to remote areas is a good idea, but I get the impression that some team members only come for vacation, to work less and get more rest,” said Akobiarek told Jubi by phone on Tuesday (10/7/2018). For instance, he pointed out the team of Satgas Kaki Telanjang who are supposed to provide health service to villagers in Korowai. After the Ied al-Ftir break, their members are still not returning to their duty station.

Meanwhile, Maria Duwitau, the Vice Chairman of the Commission V on education and health of the Papuan House of Representative said doing health services in Papua, in particularly remote areas, is always connecting with a commitment. “No matter how greater of the offer, but without willingness and commitment, I think it’s useless,” Duwitau told Jubi not long ago. (*)


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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SKP HAM urges the government to open democratic space for Papuan students




SKP HAM in a press conference in LBH Papua office. – Jubi/LBH Surabaya.Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violation (SKP HAM) Papua urge the Indonesian Government to open democratic space for Papuan students and conduct a thorough investigation on sexual harassment by a police officer at Papuan dormitory in Surabaya on last Friday (6/7/2018).

The Coordinator of SKP HAM Peneas Lokbere said the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of1945 in the Article 28E Paragraph 3 and the Law No. 39 of1999 on Human Rights Article 24 Paragraph 1 state, “Each person has the right to associate, assemble and express his opinions peacefully” but what have been occurred to the Alliance of Papuan Students is a violation against the constitution.

“The police and military officers and members of the civil service police unit came to student dormitory trying to stop the weekly discussion. The students also witnessed the security forces carrying long-barrier guns. It was such an ironic,” Lokbere stated in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (11/8/2018).

Further, he stated that according to the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Surabaya, the incident occurred when the Tambaksari Sub-district Chief accompanied by the police, military and civil service police unit of Surabaya Municipality came to the dormitory in the inspection of civil registration. “However, when students and public attorney from LBH Surabaya asked for an official letter, the sub-district chief was not able to show it.”

Meanwhile, the Director of LBH Papua Simon Pattirajawane said what have done by the security forces, in this case, is a violation against the human rights. “The Human Rights Commission should immediately form an investigation team to investigate this alleged case of intimidation, terror and racism against Papuan students in several cities in Java, including Surabaya, Malang and Yogyakarta.” (*)


Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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West Papua activists stopped by Solomons police




Ben Didiomea displays the West Papuan flag as Indonesian staff try to usher him away. – Photo: Facebook/ Ben Didiomea

Solomon, Jubi – Solomon Islands police says they confiscated a West Papuan flag at the Melanesian Arts Festival to stop any provocation aimed at the Indonesian delegation.

Ben Didiomea had his flag taken by police over the weekend after he held it up in front of Indonesia’s festival stall to protest its inclusion at the event.

A video on Facebook shows Mr Didiomea – who was part of a group of demonstrators – holding up West Papua’s Morning Star flag as Indonesian officials tried to move him away from the stall.

He was then approached by Solomon Islands Police who confiscated the flag.

Mr Didiomea said he had been standing in solidarity with fellow Melanesian people of Indonesia’s Papua region, where the Morning Star is banned.

He said the Melanesian Arts Festival, which Honiara hosted over the last ten days, was not intended as an Asian festival.

Police issued a statement saying the flag was removed to prevent provocation of the Indonesians, reminding the demonstrators that it was not a political event.

Mr Didiomea, who along with two other demonstrators was questioned by police, said the inclusion of Indonesia at the Arts Festival was a political move by the Solomons government.

“Because it was a festival of Melanesia, Indonesia is not part of Melanesia. So why does it need an Indonesia stall at the arts festival? It’s a Melanesian festival, so what are Indonesia coming to arts festival?”

Changing relationship

According to Mr Didiomea, the police action was a sign that the country was forming a closer relationship with Indonesia.

The Solomon Islands government under prime minister Rick Hou has recently shown signs that it was pursuing a different policy regarding West Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.

However after he was replaced by Mr Hou late last year, the Solomons government has been notably less vocal about West Papua human rights issues in international fora.

A visit in April by a Solomons delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta was billed as having added “balance” to the government’s view on West Papuan issues.

The Solomons government told RNZ Pacific in May that it was consulting with the provinces as it formulated an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues. (*)



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