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No reason to panic just yet, says KPU CITIES IN INDONESIA - The General Elections Commission (KPU) admitted on Monday that some delays had occurred in the delivery of election materials, but it remained convinced that everything was under control. KPU chairman Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin said after a plenary meeting the printing of 320 million ballot papers for the election of House of Representatives (DPR) and Regional Representatives Council (DPD) members was 98-percent finished.
Printing companies responsible for the production of 340 million ballot papers for the election of provincial and regental/municipal legislative members had completed 25 percent of their jobs. "Based on our evaluation, we have not yet seen any crisis in our preparations to procure election materials," he said. However, KPU member Mulyana W. Kusumah, said the commission needed to take measures to ensure that the materials reached polling stations before the March 31 deadline, or five days before voting day.
Ballot paper printing was an example of the serious problems facing the KPU, according to Mulyana, due to a one-month delay in the printing of the papers. "We have set up a team to monitor and to put pressure on all printing firms to speed up the process," he said. To make things worse, one of the companies PT Rorakarya, gave up the job to print over 5 million ballot papers for Regional Legislative Council (DPRD II) candidates in South Sulawesi, seven days after it expressed its readiness to print the papers.
KPU member Hamid Awaluddin, who is chairman of KPU's legal division, said the firm's decision had threatened election preparations. "KPU does not tolerate such actions any more, which are considered more than just a violation of the contract," he said. Rorakarya director Raizon Rais was observed visiting KPU on Monday to report his company's failure. KPU member Rusadi Kantaprawira, who chairs the ink tender committee, said KPU had slashed the endurance period of indelible ink for voter identification from between three days to one day.
He said that the change was made to help local ink suppliers compete with other suppliers. Difficulties have been encountered in West Nusa Tenggara. With just 10 days left before the deadline, the province has not received any of its required 2.6 million ballot papers. The province has at least 37 remote islands, making it difficult for KPU to deliver the papers on time. Head of the logistics division of the West Nusa Tenggara Elections Commission (KPUD) Ahmad Yani said on Monday the office also required 284 more ballot boxes and 3,273 polling stations.
Yani said his office would produce the election materials itself if KPU failed to deliver the materials by March 20, referring to a KPU circular which allows this measure in a state of emergency. Separately, Maluku governor Karel Albert Ralahalu found during his inspection to remote villages on Seram Island that KPUD officials had never met with locals. Karel was told by local residents that KPUD officials had also failed to disseminate information on the elections.
Researches by the Voter Education Network (Japem) and Indonesian Christian University predicted that up to 40 percent of votes would be invalid due to uninformed voters. In Makassar, South Sulawesi governor Amin Syams gathered on Monday all regents and mayors, informing them that they should anticipate a delay in the delivery of election materials.
Amin said the province fell short of 23,931 ballot boxes and 13,448 polling stations and had not received most of its ballot papers. He ordered local governments to produce ballot boxes and polling stations as KPU would face difficulties in producing and distributing the materials on time.



Posted in Elections @ 19 March 2004 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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