INDONESIA: Mui Riau Rebuked For Banning Women In Mayoral Election

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Jakarta Post
South Eastern Asia
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The National Commission for Women is criticizing the Riau chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for banning women from running in the Pekanbaru mayoral election.

"It is against the 1945 Constitution,” Commission deputy chair Masruchah said, as quoted by

She said Riau's MUI had also violated the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

“MUI Riau should enforce the Constitution and should not discriminate against any citizen on behalf of anything, including any political interest or in the name of Islam,” she said.

The Riau chapter of the MUI earlier said that the nomination of women in the Pekanbaru mayoral election was against Islamic teachings. The MUI said it was haram for women to nominate themselves if there were any men who could become the mayor.

The election, scheduled for May, has two female candidates: Septina Primawati, who is vying for mayor, and Lelly Idanuryanti, a candidate for deputy mayor.