TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Politics, Legal, and Human Rights, Wiranto, officially established a Legal Aid Team on May 8, through Ministerial Decree No. 38 of 2019. The team was tasked to handle cases that emerged after the 2019 general elections.
“We have told the public, since the beginning, that the government will take more assertive actions,” said the Coordinating Minister when met in his office, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta, Thursday, May 9.
The team was formed after the coordination meeting of ministers in his ministry on May 6 in a bid to discipline, secure, and uphold the country’s order following the elections.
The former Indonesian Military (TNI) commander supervises the team, accompanied by several directors namely Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, Legal and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara, National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian, and Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo. The members are comprised of 24 law experts and legal academics.
Based on the regulation, the team has three roles; first, study and provide legal assistance related to words and actions that are considered violating the law; second, submit a recommendation to law enforcers to follow-up the study result; and third, report the team progress to the chief.
The team that would conclude on October 31 --in line with the end of Jokowi’s government term, kicked off its operation since the issuance of the decree on May 8. The first meeting took place yesterday, May 9, in Wiranto’s office.
The establishment of this legal aid team enlarged public criticism. Many assessed the team would worsen the current political condition and viewed it as a potential authoritarian act of the government.
Wiranto denied the allegation, asserting that the public would be involved as part of law enforcers and so the team was the public representative. "Don't make an accusation that we [the government] return to the New Order era, that President Jokowi is a dictator. There is no such thing," he underlined.