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New Hindu Party for 2009 Elections

A newly-established political party based on the Hindu principle of good deeds expressed its optimism Saturday that it would run in the 2009 general elections as a Jakarta Post article explains.

“The Indonesian Dharma Awakening Party (PKDI) is an open party that strengthens the nationalistic, democratic, humanist and pluralistic attitudes based on principles of religion, morality and truth,” party chairman Ngurah Arya said during a speech to launch the party.

“I am very optimistic our party will be fit to run in the 2009 general elections.”

Ngurah said the party had already established chapters in 15 provinces and would create branches in those provinces.

The 2002 law on political parties requires a new party to have chapters in at least half of Indonesia’s 33 provinces, half of a province’s regions, and a quarter of a region’s districts.

“We already have enough women candidates to fulfill the minimum 30 percent quota for women as required by the revised law on political parties,” Ngurah said.

He said his party invited citizens from any ethnic group and religion to join.

The party launching was attended by religious figures of different religions. A Hindu priest led a prayer after a Muslim cleric and Catholic priest did the same.

Ngurah said the party’s was established in response to the degradation of morality in government and political institutions.

“The reform movement seems unable to end the remaining bureaucracy,” he said.

“We need real action, not only discussions and theories, to change the nation’s attitudes. We have to save (the people) from poverty, ignorance and disintegration.”

Ngurah said the country needed leaders who would work honestly, persistently and ethically, and be willing to sacrifice their personal interests for the country’s needs.

“We are different from any other party because we glorify the Lord and not the party’s leaders. We also don’t believe in money politics,” he said.

The party set an agenda of four priorities, with reconciliation among different groups being at the top of the list, followed by reform.

The other two priorities, he said, were to reconstruct the nation’s morality and recover Indonesia‘s status as a religious nation.