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Indonesia to deploy 1m security personnel for election JAKARTA - Indonesia plans to deploy over one million police officers, soldiers and civilian guards to ensure voting in Monday's presidential election passes off peacefully. This comes as some potential suicide bombers remain on the loose following last week's deadly blast outside's Australia's embassy in Jakarta. Indonesia's first two rounds of elections this year passed off relatively peacefully, but the authorities are not letting their guard down.
When results of the first round were announced, the Electoral Commission itself was bombed, and the recent Australian embassy blast has renewed fears of more attacks. "I don't put the last bombing into account because I'm quite sure that it's not targeting at the election. Even if some people say there must be some linkage somehow with the election, it's not a matter for KPU to do. It's a matter for the police," said Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin, chief commissioner of the Electoral Commission.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets calling for a peaceful and fair vote, and the Electoral Commission chief has appealed to supporters of both presidential candidates to accept the result. "Will they sincerely accept defeat? I feel this is still a big problem in our system of democracy which is being developed," Mr Nazaruddin said. He warns that there may be riots.
To prevent this, the elections commission is promising to provide fast results. Meanwhile, 190,000 police officers will be deployed, mostly in known trouble spots like Central Sulawesi, Ambon, Papua and Aceh. "The security umbrella will be enforced not only on polling day, but also right up until the results and appointment of the new president," Indonesian Police Chief Dai Bachtiar said.
According to the police chief, around 38 000 Indonesian troops will assist the police to secure the election as a standby measure, while another 1.2 million civilian guards will help police secure polling stations to ensure the election and post election process are trouble-free.



Posted in Elections @ 18 September 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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