Celebrating International Day of Democracy, House Poised to Become Backbone of Democracy
House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Chair, Fadli Zon. Photo: Runi/Man
The International Day of Democracy is still relatively unknown to the general public, said House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) Chair, Fadli Zon, underscoring that to mark the anniversary--celebrated on September 15 each year--the House is poised to become the backbone of democracy to sustain Indonesia’s people-led democracy.
“We, in BKSAP—a committee of the House responsible for global issues—always promote the International Day of Democracy each year,” Mr Zon, House Vice Speaker for the 2014-2019 period, told Parlementaria in a written statement on Tuesday (15/9/2020). “This year, we had an essay-writing competition on the theme of democracy and COVID-19, among others, for which we already have the winners.”
Mr. Zon further saw 'COVID-19: A Spotlight on Democracy' as a fitting theme for this year's International Day of Democracy. "The world today is severely affected by the pandemic. Different aspects of our lives, including democracy, are hit hard by the crisis. Many experts have warned of the potential for increased authoritarianism due to the Coronavirus pandemic," the West Java Constituency politician asserted.
The Chair of BKSAP also added that COVID-19 has previously prompted government to take emergency measures many feared to ignore democratic principles such as transparency, freedom of information, checks and balances, public participation, equality, and freedom of speech.
He believed that the International Democracy Day is a reminder to the House’s committment to uphold democracy and its principles. “As opposed to being a burden that weighs down democracy, the House should be the very backbone of the Indonesian democracy,” the Great Indonesia Movement party politician affirmed.
Another excess of the COVID-19, as part of the pandemic control policy, is the restrictions on public freedoms. “We fully realise that these restrictions are meant to control the Coronavirus outbreak, but we must be very careful with their implementation, for we don’t want the overdose of restrictions to undermine the sovereignty of the people,” Mr. Zon warned. (er/sf)