JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s House of Representatives passed the Southwest Papua Province Bill into law, creating a new province to achieve equitable development.
“Could the Bill on Establishment of Southwest Papua Province be passed as law?” asked House Speaker Puan Maharani during the plenary session on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Legislators present at the plenary session unanimously responded to the speaker in the affirmative, signaling their approval.
In his report, Commission II legislator Guspardi Gaus said that the formation of Southwest Papua would be the solution to ongoing conflicts in the region and expedite regional development.
He pointed out that the formation of the new province in Papua, as per Article 93 of Government Regulation No. 106/2021, aims to expedite equitable development, improve public services, enhance the residents’ livelihoods, and boost the dignity of the people in Papua.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian, speaking at the plenary session on behalf of the president, said that passing the bill into law will be a historical moment for Indonesia as the nation is witnessing the creation of its 38th province.
The minister reiterated government's commitment to support the law and supervise its implementation in the newly-formed province.
Earlier, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin expected the parliament to pass the Southwest Papua Province Bill promptly to not hinder preparations for the 2024 General Elections.
"The vice president is hopeful that Southwest Papua will be part of Indonesia's new autonomous region, and all aspects would be completed for it," Vice President Special Staff Masduki Baidlowi said on Monday, Nov. 14.
Passing the new province bill into law is deemed urgent, as the government must ensure the province's inclusion in the government regulation in-lieu-of law to regulate elections in the Papua region, he said.
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