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Panwaslu: Double puncture spoils a good poll JAKARTA - The Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) hailed on Tuesday the country's first direct presidential election as peaceful and democratic, but warned that the use of nonpermanent ink and double perforation of ballot papers could reduce the quality of the poll. "We should be grateful that the election was generally free of violence despite tensions in many poll stations over the use of nonpermanent ink and the immediate validation of double perforations on ballot papers," committee member Didik Supriyanto said.
He was speaking at a media conference attended by Panwaslu chairman Komaruddin Hidayat, deputy Rozy Munir and member Topo Santoso Masyhudi. Didik said the committee found that nonpermanent ink had been used across the country, which sparked fears that people may vote more than once. A number of voters were caught red-handed by Panwaslu officials in the Central Java town of Brebes, Yogyakarta, Totitoli in Central Sulawesi and Jayapura in Papua for attempting to vote twice on Monday.
Many more voters in other regions may have done the same thing to help their favored candidate, Rozy Munir said. Panwaslu demanded that the General Elections Commission (KPU) apologize publicly for its failing to ensure indelible ink was used in Monday's election. Rozy said the fact that the KPU changed its rules at the eleventh hour to declare the ballots with double perforations valid also caused problems in many polling stations. "The commission's announcement came too late, particularly for the eastern part of Indonesia. They (poll committees there) refused to recount the double-perforated votes as they had finished counting earlier," he said.
The announcement was released at around 11 a.m. from Jakarta at West Indonesia Time. West Indonesia Time (WIB) is two hours later than Eastern Indonesia Time (WIT) and one hour later than Central Indonesia Time (WITA). The problem stemmed from voters who failed to unfold the ballot sheet and, instead, made a hole that went through the folded sheet to the other side. The KPU then decided to declare the ballots valid as long as the second perforation was in a blank part of the sheet. Rozy said Panwaslu had to approve the KPU's decision to change the rules in an effort to prevent possible disruptions in the vote count.
"If the KPU did not change the rules, more than 40 percent of the votes cast could be declared invalid. This would thus threaten the validity of the election," he argued. The supervisory committee asked its members, regional poll officers and observers to spare more time to monitor the vote recount to avoid possible violations. "All parties involved still have to work hard to ensure the recount proceeds smoothly," Rozy said.
Alleged vote rigging at Al-Zaytun probed

The West Java Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) reported on Tuesday alleged irregularities in the number of voters who cast their ballots at Al-Zaytun Islamic boarding school during the presidential election. The sharp increase in the number of voters at Al-Zaytun's polling stations favored Golkar Party candidates Gen. (ret) Wiranto and Solahuddin Wahid. Committee head Egypt Sudrajat said his staffers found the number of voters at the school located in Indramayu, West Java, increased by up to five times the number of students and residents living nearby.
"During the legislative election, there were only 11,565 registered voters. But now, the number swelled to 24,818," he told a press conference in Bandung. Adjat said his committee members saw people arriving at the boarding school in groups on Monday, on board more than 300 private cars, trucks and buses. As many as 24,794 of the voters supported Wiranto and Solahuddin, six supported Megawati Soekarnoputri and Hasyim Muzadi, 21 voted for Amien Rais and Siswono Yudohusodo, 16 voted for Gen. (ret) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and two voted for Hamzah Haz and Gen. (ret) Agum Gumelar.
Separately in Jakarta, the national Election Supervisory Committee said its members and witnesses were not allowed entry to the school to monitor the election at Al-Zaytun. During the news conference, the central Panwaslu switched on a video showing vehicles transporting people arriving at the school. Some of the vehicles were painted dark green, and bore the letters Mabes TNI, or Indonesia Military headquarters. The committee said it was investigating the "exceptional case" to find whether the voters were officially registered or they had cast their votes twice.



Posted in Elections @ 07 July 2004 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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