FaithWorld

Indonesian Islamist PKS party aims for broader support

June 18, 2010

pksIndonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is holding its second national congress in Jakarta this week where it will discuss key policies.  The Islamist party is the third-biggest in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s coalition, and lifted its share of the vote in the 2009 elections when most Islam-based parties lost support.

The PKS believes religious values should be reflected in social policy to address what it sees as Indonesia’s moral crisis. Its former president, Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring, has campaigned hard for tighter Internet controls to ban what he describes as “negative” content on the web, and last year said natural disasters such as earthquakes were linked to immoral television shows.

(Photo: PKS supporters hold pro-Palestinian rally in Jakarta on 20 March 2010/Supri)

PKS members in Aceh, where sharia law is practised, have supported the introduction of a strict penal code that would see adulterers stoned and homosexuals lashed.

But the PKS has only four ministries: agriculture, information and communications, social affairs, and research and technology and can exert limited influence over these portfolios.

Here are some questions and answers about PKS policies on the economy, corruption, moral issues and boosting its voter appeal.

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