House Leaders Promise to Pass on Student Demands to President
Leaders of the House Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, Rachmat Gobel, and Lodewijk F. Paulus meet student protesters of the All Indonesian Student Executive Council (BEM SI). Photo: Yoga/nvl
Leaders of the House of Representatives met with a mass of protesters who represent the All Indonesian Student Executive Council (BEM SI) in front of the Parliamentary Compound. The attending House leaders were Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, Rachmat Gobel, and Lodewijk F. Paulus. In his speech on atop the protester's van, Dasco said the House would respond to the protesters' demands, particularly on the rejection of postponement of the 2024 General Elections and extension of President Joko Widodo's term of office.
"We are committed to passing on the demands of the students to the government as soon as possible," said Dasco in his speech, which was greeted with applause from all students outside the Parliamentary Compound, Senayan, Jakarta, Monday (11/4/2022).
In front of the mass, Dasco emphasized that the House of Representatives and the People's Consultative Assembly have agreed not to postpone the election or extend the term of office of the president. Doing it, he argued, would be against the mandate of the constitution. "Most importantly, the House of Representatives and the People's Consultative Assembly will not postpone the election or extend the term of office of the president. Anything against the constitution will not be followed through," he stressed.
The Gerindra Party politician also emphasized in his address that his party had discussed with the General Election Commission and the Government on the upcoming elections, saying that they would remain on schedule. Dasco stressed that there would be no delays in the general elections. "The House, the General Election Commission, and the Government have agreed to proceed with the elections according to schedule, without any delay. Come Tuesday, new members of the General Election Commission will be inaugurated. So, all the electoral processes should be running as expected," Dasco clarified.
Moving on to the topic of rising price of essential purchases, the Coordinating Vice Speaker for Economic and Financial Affairs said he was committed to the parliamentary oversight function to make sure that prices of everyday essential items do not spike ahead the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
According to the BEM SI's social media account, four demands are proposed by the students. First, urging and demanding people's representatives to listen and to speak on behalf of the people, not the party's interests. Second, urging and demanding people's representatives to solicit public concerns such as those addressed through rallies that took place in numerous regions from 28 March to 11 April 2022.
Third, urging and demanding people's representatives not to evade the constitution by making amendments and by taking a firm stand in rejecting the postponement of the 2024 elections or the three-term incumbency. Fourth, urging and demanding people's representatives to pass on a study, accompanied by the 18 student demands, to the president, which have not yet been responded. (rdn/sf/agl)