Voter Interest in Polls Still Low as KPUD Pledges to Hold Fair, Transparent Election
If a pre-election promotional event held on Sunday by polling officials is any indication, the turnout for the upcoming gubernatorial poll in Jakarta could be very low.
Only two of the six registered candidates for the July 11 election appeared for the event hosted by the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD), which was meant to present the candidates and their platforms to voters.
The event was held in Senayan, South Jakarta, and combined an exhibition, entertainment and music show, education and information programs.
However, despite the commission’s efforts, it failed to get all of the contenders to the event, with only three candidates showing up — gubernatorial candidates Hendardji Soepandji and Faisal Basri, and deputy gubernatorial candidate Nachrowi Ramli.
Although it has already carried out similar programs, the KPUD says it needs to keep educating voters to boost the turnout on balloting day.
Aminullah, chairman of KPUD’s working group on campaign and legal advocacy, said that all the officials involved in organizing the election took part in the exhibition, including the city’s six municipal and district elections commissions and the local elections supervisory body (Bawaslu).
The event also highlighted the platforms of each of the six candidates as well as their programs for the city over the next five years.
“Any Jakarta resident who wants to know more about the gubernatorial election, profiles, visions, missions and programs of the six candidates can come to this event,” Aminullah said.
The KPUD, along with the other institutions involved in organizing the polls, also signed an integrity pact to emphasize their commitment to hold an election that was fair, transparent, neutral, free from outside pressure, independent and accountable.
“Each and every one of us signed the integrity pact. We want to assure all the parties that the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election will be fair, neutral, free from intervention, transparent and independent,” Aminullah said.
Separately, the KPUD has decided to delay issuing the final list of eligible voters following criticism about the inclusion of up to 1.4 million “ghost voters” — people who do not exist or are ineligible to vote.
“The delay is because the voter list is still inaccurate and needs to be fixed,” Aminullah said last week. “[It] was not solely upon the request of the Jakarta City Council, but was also [based on] advice received from several parties.”
The KPUD was previously expected to release the finalized list on Saturday. The new date for its issuance has not yet been announced.
Aminullah said that regardless of when the voter list was published, the delay would not influence the overall process of the election.
Doubts over the veracity of voter lists are not new to Indonesian elections. Because many residents have more than one identity card, often in different jurisdictions, the issue of ghost voters turning up in electoral rolls is common. SP/Robertus Wardi