August 8, 2007

THE NEXT INDIA:

Jakarta holds first direct election for governor (The Associated Press, August 8, 2007)

Millions of people in the Indonesian capital voted for their governor for the first time Wednesday, the latest in a wave of direct local elections hailed as key to strengthening democracy in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Indonesia emerged from 32 years of dictatorship in 1998 with the downfall of President Suharto, leading to reforms that liberalized the media, struck down repressive laws and saw citizens vote directly for president in 2005.

Attracting less attention, but equally as important in a country spanning three time zones and about 18,000 islands, has been a democratic revolution at the local level, where more than 300 regions have chosen mayors, governors and district chiefs.

Previously, local lawmakers elected the officials behind closed doors, often after receiving money from candidates.


Always amusing to hear Islamophobes rant about Islam being incompatible with democracy, even though most Muslims live in democratic societies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2007 11:42 AM
Comments

oj,
Let's see, if a majority of citizens wish to kill, enslave or otherwise ignore the rights of the minority that's OK because it's democracy?
Of course I'm an Islamophobe! I'm scared to death of a "democracy, majority rules" which believes, as they do, that apostasy in punishable by death.
The best Islamic society/government today, Iraqi Kurds, are hardly supportive of prosyltising by other religions, the most important benchmark for a liberal society/government.

Posted by: Mike at August 8, 2007 9:57 PM

Mike:

Yes. Ask an Indian or an American Communist.

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2007 7:12 AM
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