‘Democracy Is No Guarantee,’ Indonesian Lawmakers Say as Morsi Falls

By Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Ezra Sihite 5 July 2013

JAKARTA — Indonesian politicians called on the government to learn from the crisis in Egypt, saying democracy did not guarantee a leader could stay in power despite winning it democratically.

Golkar Party cadre Hajriyanto Tohari said Egypt showed the government should have shared power even if the president was elected fairly, as was the case with Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi.

“He should have also listened to the voices that didn’t support him. He should have shared power,” said Hadjriyanto, adding that a democratic election was not everything.

Susaningtyas Kertopati, a lawmaker from the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), said the Indonesian government should learn from the political turmoil in Egypt because such a situation could happen here if the government committed too many violations.

“This could make the people’s emotions escalate. What is feared is that demonstrations are becoming more massive and that they could lead to a coup … That might just happen,” Susaningtyas said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Ichsanuddin Noorsy, an expert on public policy, said the democracy in Egypt was not followed up by compliance with its constitution and law, ultimately leading to the president’s ousting.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on Indonesians in Egypt, especially students, to stay away from areas prone to clashes.

The president called on the Indonesian Embassy to facilitate the Indonesian citizens to protect them from local political conflicts.

“The president instructed Ambassador Faizi to call on our nationals in Egypt to stay away from Egypt’s domestic affairs and to avoid places or situations that could cause danger,” presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said at the State Palace on Thursday.

Yudhoyono also hoped the transition in Egypt would go smoothly and that Indonesia would only recognize a regime or government if it operated in accordance with the Constitution.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said the government was sad to see the recent developments in Egypt.

“All this time the Indonesian government was hoping the transition of democracy process in Egypt could run well, orderly and peacefully. Hopefully the situation in Egypt can recover immediately and the democratic process is in line with what the people of Egypt wanted,” Marty said.

Marty also called on Indonesian nationals in Egypt to obey the law and regulations in the country, avoid places where large groups of people were gathering and to stay away from Egypt’s domestic affairs.