ASIA/INDONESIA - The Democrats win: high hopes for Christians after the general election

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - "The elections will give us the hope of a better country, in all its aspects: for democracy, for human rights, religious tolerance, for the socio-economic development. In the Catholic Church and other Christian communities there is general satisfaction with regards to the emergence of democratic parties, not based on Islamist ideology": This is what Fr. Emanuel Romanus Harjito, of the order of the Carmelites, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS ) in Indonesia explains in an interview with Fides Agency, commenting on the parliamentary election results held yesterday. According to the results, the Democratic PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) is the first party, of the leader Megawati Sukarnoputri (19%); followed by Golkar (14.3%) and the Gerindra (Great Indonesia Movement Party) ( 11 , 7%), while the Democratic Party of incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono obtained 9.6%.
Fr. Harjito tells Fides: "First of all I would like to express satisfaction because the elections were conducted peacefully and was a good test for our young democracy". "Also - he continues - we appreciate the victory of the Democrats of the PDI- P, as it is a party formed by moderate leaders that we are confident will work for the good of the country, including religious minorities, promoting a climate of tolerance and harmony in society".
The Catholic Bishops had spread, on the eve of the vote, an invitation to carefully choose representatives "considered strong witnesses of life and far-sighted": "Today, after the results, hopes are strengthened.
The PDI- P is a party that promotes dialogue and in the past the relationship with the Churches were positive and constructive".
Another thing to note, concludes the Director of the PMS, is that "the Islamist parties like PKS (Prosperous Justice Party), PPP (United Development Party), PBB (United Traditional Bumiputera Party) were not rewarded and had little support: this confirms that Indonesian people do not like religious extremism. It is a positive thing for all of us". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 10/04/2014)