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Thousands protest against governor elections in Yogyakarta YOGYAKARTA - Thousands of Indonesians hit the streets of Yogyakarta province on Monday in protest of a bill that would force residents to elect a governor instead of the Sultan to serve in the position.

The large crowd marched their way to Yogyakarta's Palace from the city's North square, chanting "Yogyakarta istimewa" (Special Yogyakarta), making reference to the province's special status due to its traditional sultanate.

The demonstration passed through the city's touristic Malioboro street, where shops closed early in anticipation of the protests. Schools also sent their students home early.

Throughout the city, Indonesian flags were raised to half-staff in front of people's homes after an initiative by Yogyakarta mayor Herry Zudianto on Sunday. In addition, residents dressed in traditional Javanese outfits called surjan, carrying their keris, a ceremonial dagger.

People gathered to discuss the situation in an open plenary session, but Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said the plenary meeting held by the Yogyakarta Legislative Council would have little effect on the progress of the bill.

"We are making a law, not a bylaw," Gamawan said. "If it were a bylaw, the Yogyakarta Legislative Council could [have a voice]. Hopefully, it can soon be brought before the House [for deliberation]," he added.

Currently, Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwana X automatically also serves as the province's governor. The proposed bill would change this, letting residents elect their own governor.


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Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Tags: Yogyakarta, sultanate, governor elections


Posted in Politics @ 13 December 2010 16:35 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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