Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - "Today a Catholic citizen should exercise his political right paying attention to these three considerations: vote correctly, intelligently and wisely and to elect good and just candidates, according to conscience": this is what the Message released by the Indonesian Conference of Catholics Bishops (KWI) affirms - and sent to Agenzia Fides - through the Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity (Kerawam), in view of the administrative elections to be held in Indonesia on 9 December. Regional elections will take place in 270 locations including 9 provinces, 34 cities, 224 districts across the country.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Father Paul Christian Siswantoko - signatory of the text together with the President of the Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity, Archbishop Mgr. Vincensius Sensi Potokota - "the first common goal is to ensure that everyone can vote with dignity, safety and health protection, respecting the health protocols required for Covid-19". The Commission, in fact, urges all voters to "maintain social distancing, always wear a mask, use a hand sanitizer".
The message also recalls sectarianism, corruption, hate speech and the elaborate dissemination of false news related to the election, and stresses that it goes "against our noble values of democracy".
The bishops hope for the victory of candidates "who cultivate a spirit of pluralism" and are "people of integrity who have the courage to fight crime and intolerance". The declaration underlines the need to promote at every level in Indonesia "the culture of a policy that respects human dignity, according to values of equity, prosperity and the common good for our society", and calls on all citizens to evaluate the candidates' programs according to these criteria. (MH-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2020)