JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s president urged lawmakers on Friday to delay a vote on a proposed new criminal code amid mounting criticism of the bill, which opponents say threatens democracy and discriminates against minorities. Updating Indonesia’s criminal code, a legacy of the Dutch colonial era, has taken more than two decades. A parliamentary task force finalized the 628-article bill on Sept. 15 and lawmakers are slated to vote on it on Sept. 24. President Joko Widodo said he made the decision after considering public concerns. He said the bill should not be decided on by members of the current House of Representatives, whose terms end in early October, and deliberations should be conducted by the new lawmakers. “After learning the inputs from society, I concluded, there are some materials that needed further study,” Widodo told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital, Jakarta. “I hope the House shares the same stance on this matter … that the passing of the criminal code bill into law should be postponed.” Critics say the bill contains articles that may violate the rights of women, religious minorities, lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people, as well as the freedoms of speech and association…. Read full this story
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