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5月23日のまにら新聞から

BARMM needs a democratic foundation for 2025 midterm polls: Mastura

[ 429 words|2024.5.23|英字 (English) ]

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) needs to have a democratic foundation for the 2025 midterm elections to suppress jihadist tendencies in the area, a lawmaker from the region said Wednesday.

Ishak Mastura, a member of the parliament under the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, said the government should include introducing democratic values to the region so it can conduct successful polls.

“It must be part of the program of the government that we must introduce to them the democratic values. Otherwise, we're not coming to an election and we might have a different perspective, especially if leaders are campaigning that this is a continuation of Jihad. So this is a whole-of-society approach. We need your help,” Mastura said during the launching of a study on gender dynamics in conflict-ridden areas, including Mindanao.

Mastura said that the rise in Takfiri ideology, which is a fundamentalist belief, endangers democracy in the region.

“With this kind of framework fundamentally emerging in the BARMM, some parties are supporting this kind of addressing this kind of 'othering'. This kind of Takfiri political discourse, even in the electoral campaign, calling others or branding others as ‘munafiq’ or hypocrites; or ‘kafir’ or non-believers,” Mastura said.

“This for me is a danger and when you leave it with some groups campaigning that it is a continuation of Jihad, then the more that it it signals to us that we have to protect our democratic rights because then it becomes a monolithic message,” he added.

Mastura said the BARMM should not show that one religion is better than the other by only choosing Muslim leaders since it is a secular state.

He also proposed that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) look into the usage of the language of the Qu’ran because he said it “facilitates the slippery slope towards another conflict” similar to what happened in the 1970s.

“We have to suppress or at least curtail Jihadist tendencies because we are no longer in the Jihad. We are now in a democratic framework wherein competition is about delivering goods and services. Good governance. It's not just about moral governance but it's about the result of how our people are actually changed or how they are improved in terms of their well-being,” Mastura said.

Mastura said that candidates for the midterm elections in Mindanao were having difficulty forming political parties because the Bangsamoro electoral code requires several steps before establishing one.

"Hopefully, these challenges will be overcome because we need a democratic foundation for the Bangsamoro in 2025," Mastura said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS