22 Mar 2007

Council Supports Formation Of Papua's First Local Political Party

3:29 pm on 22 March 2007

The Cultural Institute of the Papua People's Council or MRP in Indonesia says it fully supports the formation of Papua's first local political party, the Papua People's Awakening Party.

The MRP's Vice Chairwoman, Hanna Wikoyabi, says the movement that led to the new party's establishment could lift

the indigenous Papua people's esteem and dignity.

She says a provision in Law No 21 on Papua Province's Special Autonomy enables more indigenous Papuan people to run in legislative elections at national and regional levels in the Indonesian Province.

She says the local political party must be a means for people from various walks of life, including women, clergymen, youth,

customary communities, to have a chance to win seats in legislatures.

Hanna Wikoyabi says there are already indigenous Papuans in the central parliament, provincial and district legislative councils for the 2004-2009 period but their number was still very small.

She says efforts should be made to increase their number through the 2009 general election so that indigenous Papuans could play a greater political role in the country.