Now this might actually work: How to ensure that there will be fewer people who want to be politicians

Proposals by Indonesia's president to restrict the right of the country's public servants to practice polygamy have sparked an angry reaction.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono proposed extending a law banning the taking of multiple wives to all public servants.

Currently anyone not a civil servant in the predominantly Muslim country is allowed to marry up to four wives.

But a tightening of the law, which bans polygamy under the constitution, could also affect ordinary citizens.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson, in Jakarta, says that some of the loudest opposition to the president's plan has come from Indonesia's mainstream Muslim parties.

Rarely restricted

They argue that restricting the practice, which they say is sanctioned by the Koran, will lead to increased levels of adultery.

Muslim men who are not working as civil servants are currently allowed to marry up to four wives as defined by Islamic teaching.

Government spokesmen in Indonesia say that rule will be expanded to cover all lawmakers, ministers and other government officials. . . .


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