Jakarta Jubi TV – President Joko Widodo met with the delegations from the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the West Papuan People’s Assembly (MRPB) in Jakarta on Monday, April 25, 2022. During the meeting, the President was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian, and the Deputy V of the Presidential Staff Office.
Mahfud MD in an online press conference said the meeting discussed the Papuan people’s aspirations on the Special Autonomy Law and the Papua Province expansion. However, no decision was made at the meeting.
“The meeting went well, information was exchanged, and there were no new decisions. The MRP invited the President to stop by their office when he visited Papua and the President said yes,” he said.
“The President told the MRP delegates, regarding the Special Autonomy Law that was being reviewed by the Constitutional Court, the government respects the legal process. In the end, it’s the Court’s verdict we must respect,” Mahfud said.
Meanwhile, regarding the formation of new autonomous regions in Papua, Mahfud said there were indeed pros and cons but, according to him, there was not a thing in this country that was immediately agreed upon by everyone.
“Therefore, the President explained that the expansion plan was based on the data that the demand for expansion across the archipelago was actually high. There are 354 applications for expansion, and for Papua’s interests, we grant it to three provinces,” said Mahfud.
“According to the results of a survey conducted by the presidential institution, 82 percent of the people in Papua ask for expansion. And if we talk about protests there, there are many protests rejecting the plan but there are also many protests supporting the plan,” he claimed.
He said Papua was a special concern for Jokowi. “The President visits other provinces once or twice but he has been to Papua 14 times and he visited remote areas, not just the provincial capital,” he said. (*)