Rights activist, liberal Muslim figure join Dems structure The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 06/17/2010 5:20 PM | Headlines
Ulil Abshar Abdalla: (JP)Ulil Abshar Abdalla: (JP)Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum announced on Thursday the lineup of the party's structure, which includes rights activist Rachland Nasidik and young liberal Muslim figure Ulil Abshar Abdalla. Ulil will head the party's Policy and Strategy Development Center, while Rachland will serve as secretary of the party's head of human rights promotion and protection. Also joining the Democratic Party's central board of executives are General Elections Commission (KPU) member Andi Nurpati, National Police chief advisor Kastorius Sinaga and property analyst Panangian Simanungkalit. Rachland is former chairman of human rights group Imparsial, which was co-founded by Munir Said Thalib, a noted rights activist who was assassinated aboard a Garuda flight in 2004. Ulil, a Boston University graduate, is a prominent Nahdlatul Ulama young figure who is known for his pluralist view. Hardline Muslim groups once declared his blood halal when he promoted liberal thoughts of Islam. He also founded the Liberal Islamic Network (JIL). Political analyst Burhanuddin Muhtadi of the Indonesian Survey Institute said the entry of activists and independent figures to the country's largest political party reflected their option to fight for their causes within the political system. "Nevertheless political parties are a main pillar of democracy which can facilitate their fight for their idealism," Burhanuddin told kompas.com. The new Democratic Party structure comprises 130 executives, including secretary general Edhie "Ibas" Baskoro Yudhoyono and deputy chairmen Jhonny Allen Marbun and Max Sopacua.