Parties told off in Parliament for making empty promises

THE Speaker of Indonesia’s Parliament, Mr Wahono, has blasted the country’s three political parties for making false promises and exploiting public sentiments during the recent polls.

Speaking at the opening of the Parliament’s final session for the 1992-1997 term, he said that the three-week election was “the most tragic defiance of democracy” given the fact that the parties used it as a forum for empty talk.

“Campaigning should not become a forum where you make promises,” The Jakarta Post yesterday quoted him as saying.

He said that in order to get public support, the parties had vowed to alleviate poverty and improve housing, education and health in the country. Now that the election was over, they had to fulfil their promises.

“It is not that difficult to make the promises come true because we have a lot of opportunity to do so,” he said.

Golkar won the election with a landslide 74 per cent of the vote, followed by the United Development Party (PPP), which took 23 per cent, and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) which got only 3 per cent.

Mr Wahono questioned the election on grounds that it had helped the country mature politically. He said the radical and violent behaviour of party supporters was a blatant example of this immaturity.

More than 200 people were killed in riots and accidents during the campaign leading up to the May 29 election.

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