Police Ready to Protect Jakarta’s Polling Locations
Farouk Arnaz & Lenny Tristia Tambun
Police said on Friday that they were optimistic they would be able to secure all polling stations across Jakarta for the July 11 gubernatorial election, even as calls kept mounting for the election to be delayed.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said officers were still identifying polling stations where potential security threats could be high, based on previous elections. “We’re still evaluating them, but we hope to be ready in time for the election,” he said.
He added that all polling stations would have at least one police officer present, aided by two city officials.
Sr. Comr. Agung Budi Marwoto, the police’s head of operations, said that in the event of rioting or any disruption, police would seal the ballot boxes and take them to the nearest police station.
Police have said that a joint police and military force of 13,000 personnel had been on standby from the start of the year and would remain in place until the inauguration in November.
The city administration will also deploy a force of 32,000 public order agency officers and volunteers.
The Jakarta General Elections Commission said it expected to establish around 15,000 polling stations, but police said the figure was not yet final.
In the run-up to the election, however, KPUD continues to be dogged by calls from the candidates to delay the in order to fix the flawed voter list.
The campaign team of Joko Widodo, the mayor of Solo, said on Thursday that a delay is essential. “There are so many problems with the list that it shouldn’t be an issue delaying the election for the good of the people,” said Sirra Prayuna, a lawyer for the team.
The latest call came a day after four of the six gubernatorial candidates filed a police report against the KPUD over the voter list. The KPUD has acknowledged that there may be hundreds of thousands of ineligible or invalid voters listed, but has refused to revise the list. Bayu Marhaenjati& Lenny Tristia Tambun