(Jakarta) – Candidates for Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election will have an opportunity in a new survey to explain to voters their positions on major human rights issues, Human Rights Watch said today.
Human Rights Watch distributed a questionnaire on March 21, 2014, to likely presidential candidates posing nine questions on the country’s most pressing human rights concerns. Human Rights Watch will release the responses received by its May 16 deadline in early June.
“Indonesia’s next president will inherit serious human rights problems requiring leadership and commitment,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “Indonesian voters should insist that presidential candidates make explicit their plans to promote and strengthen human rights in the country.”
Indonesians will vote for a new president on July 9. Indonesia’s presidential term limits bar the current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has been in elected office since 2004, from running for a third term. There are currently five aspirant presidential candidates who, depending on the results of Indonesia’s April 9, 2014, legislative election, will in the coming weeks form election tickets with vice presidential candidates. Additional candidates may join the presidential race depending on those results.
Indonesian law requires a political party or a coalition of parties to win more than 20 percent of seats in the 560-seat House of Representatives, or 25 percent of the total votes, in order to nominate a presidential election ticket. The government will release the results of the April 9, 2014, legislative election on May 6, 2014.
The Human Rights Watch questionnaire seeks responses on issues concerning religious minorities, women’s rights, the situation in Papua, reforms to the justice system, and refugees and asylum seekers.