Public blames Yudhoyono for rising religious intolerance

Public blames Yudhoyono for rising religious intolerance

A public opinion poll conducted by the Indonesian Voters Institute (LPI) has found that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is considered the most lenient government official when it came to dealing with vigilante groups in Indonesia.

The Jakarta-based pollster found that in public perceptions about which officials stood up for pluralism, Yudhoyono came in last, with a score of 2.57 out of 10.

Joining Yudhoyono at the bottom of the list were Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi with 2.60 points, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto with 2.75 points and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa with 2.83 points.

The pollster even found that among the public Yudhoyono was considered a weaker advocate for pluralism than controversial Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali who got 3.72 per cent points.

"Yudhoyono has failed to prosecute intolerant groups that violate the rights of religious minorities in the name of majority beliefs," LPI director Boni Hargens said during a press briefing on Sunday in Jakarta.

Boni said that Yudhoyono's reluctance to crack down of vigilante organizations had emboldened the groups to carry out more attacks against religious minorities, which had intensified during Yudhoyono's second term.

In the survey, the LPI categorised Yudhoyono as part of the political establishment, constituted of those who had been in politics for at least 10 years.

Yudhoyono was first elected President in 2004 and was reelected in 2009 with 60 per cent of the vote.

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