Indonesia's upper house members inaugurated without president's presence

15:36, October 02, 2009      

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The inauguration of new members of Indonesian Upper House was held on Friday without the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who is in Padang of West Sumatra province to observe the situation there following a 7.6 Richter scale earthquake which occurred on Wednesday, the private news portal detikcom reported here.

The new members of the highest institution in Indonesia complained about the president's absence.

"Why is the president absent in such important agenda?" asked Akbar Faisal from the People Consciousness Party, in the parliamentary building.

The inauguration was attended by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

The interruption was directly responded by the interim parliament's speaker Marzuki Alie who chaired the session.

"Actually, the president was scheduled to attend at 11:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT). However, he could not make it because he is in West Sumatra province to observe the aftermath of the earthquake that claimed many lives," he said.

Panda Nababan from the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle also filed an interruption.

"I hope the government could be more active to attend the parliament. Their cooperation is badly needed," he said.

Following the interruptions, the members of the Upper House took oath.

They are scheduled to choose their chairman on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua
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