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Political Temperatures on the Rise in Bali

Governor Ousts Legislator From Discussion Forum for Being Ill-Mannered

(2/18/2013) Anyone doubting that political temperatures are on the rise in Bali in the period leading up to the election of its next governor on May 15, 2013, need look no further than the ongoing polemic on whether or not the current governor Made Mangku Pastika is barred from making official visits to the regency of Tabanan (see link below) and the report of the expulsion of a Denpasar municipal legislator from a town-forum meeting conducted by the governor on Saturday, February 16, 2013.

The lawmaker, Eko Supriyadi, a PDI-P legislator from the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar) was physically ejected from a meeting area at the DPRD-Bali when Governor became angry at Supriyadi’s behavior as a member of an audience participating in a question and answer session.

The expulsion happened at the end of a long exchange in which the governor readily answered a series of tough questions from the audience on topics ranging from his law suit against The Bali Post, the lease of the provincially-owned Mangrove forest in South Bali to a private interest and his working relationship with the Deputy governor AA Ngurah Puspayoga who is seeking to unseat the governor in the coming election.

The most recent monthly open-house conducted by the governor saw the governor’s replies typically relaxed and forthcoming, earning appreciative applause from most of the large audience in attendance.

Supriyadi, however, reportedly chose not to politely join in applauding the governor after each answer, but elected instead to shout “PAS."

“Pas” in the Indonesian language typically means “spot on” and would normally be interpreted as an endorsement of the Governor’s answers were it not for the fact that "PAS" has also has become a rallying cry for Pastika’s political opponents in the governor's race -  AA Ngurah Puspayoga and Sukrawan (PAS).

Increasingly irritated by Supriyadi’s shouts of “PAS,” the governor singled out the lawmaker, ordering him to show better manners and not to cause trouble.

The governor, visibly angry, said that his routine town hall meetings were not political in nature and should therefore not be dragged into the campaign.

When Supriyadi refused Pastika’s order to leave the room, security personnel escorted him out to his waiting car in the parking lot.

[The Art of Internecine Warfare]