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Minister: Elections could be postponed JAKARTA - In spite of repeated assurances from the General Election Commission (KPU) that the election would be held on schedule, several delays in the preparations have led one highly placed minister to consider a delay. Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs ad interim Hari Sabarno hinted on Wednesday that the election may be delayed in certain areas due to problems with the procurement and distribution of polling materials including 660 million ballot papers.
After a meeting on security preparations for the election, Hari said it now appeared impossible to deliver all materials 10 days (March 26) before the election, planned for April 5. Under Election Law No. 12/2003, ballot papers must reach the village election committees and overseas election committees 10 days before election day. Hari said if by March 26, a number of areas had not yet received the materials, then the KPU, coordinating with the president and the legislature, would enact emergency actions, such as delaying the election.
Hari said that there were about 22 articles in the Election Law No. 12/2003 and No. 23/2003 which dealt with election delays. Under articles 118 and 119 of the Election Law, a rescheduling of the election in certain areas is possible under certain circumstances, such as social unrest, natural disasters or other security disturbances, which could lead to a disruption. As a direct consequence of rescheduling, Hari said the tabulation of the votes would also be delayed. A decision will be made after a consultation meeting with the KPU, the president and the legislature, Hari said.
The KPU must publicly announce the progress of election materials, up to 10 days before the polling day. Commission spokesman Lukman Syah said that as of early Wednesday there were no regions which were completely without election materials. A delay would only be "half a day" at the most, Lukman said. Separately KPU chairman Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin, said Wednesday that the Commission would consult with the government and the House of Representatives within the next few days, to decide on what measures would be taken -- while reiterating that the KPU was not considering postponement.
Nazaruddin said the printing of ballots for the House election were almost completed. All but one province now have all their ballots printed, he said, the exception being West Java for which the printing of ballots was also nearly complete. The printing of ballots for the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) stood at 99.77 percent, provincial legislative council election at 95 percent, and regental/municipal legislative election at 85 percent, he said. "The printing of ballot paper for the House and DPD elections is okay," he said.
But printing of ballots for the provincial legislative council in Riau had just reached 75 percent, Yogyakarta 56 percent, Banten 50 percent, Southeast Sulawesi 95 percent and North Sumatra 99 percent. "So far the printing of ballot paper for provincial legislative council election in 25 provinces stood at 100 percent, and only seven have not yet finished," he said. Printing of ballots paper for the regental/municipal legislative elections in 17 provinces have not yet reached 100 percent, he said. He did not elaborate on the distribution of the materials.
Nazaruddin also said that 90 percent of indelible ink bottles had been delivered to regencies and municipalities.



Posted in Elections @ 25 March 2004 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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