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Abraham out front in West Irian Jaya polls MANOKWARI - Supporters of former Sorong regent Abraham Octovianus Atururi celebrated Sunday amid provisional results showing him headed for victory in West Irian Jaya's first direct gubernatorial election. Abraham, whose running mate is Rahimin Katjong, was reported ahead in all the election regions -- eight regencies and one mayoralty -- in the newly established but disputed province.

Provisional results at Abraham's camp showed he had 136,613 (62.40 percent) of 218,919 votes counted as of Sunday evening. There were 406,413 eligible voters. Abraham-Rahimin were followed by Yorrys Th. Raweyai-Abdul M. Killian with 45,032 20.57 (20.57 percent) and Dortheus Asmuruf-M. Ali Kastela 37,274 votes (17.02 percent).

No official data was available from the West Irian Jaya General Elections Commission (KPUD) which was closed on Sunday. KPUD's latest data was issued at midnight Saturday, with 145,271 votes cast. Abraham had 89,126 votes (61.35 percent), followed by Yorrys with 30,758 (21.17 percent) and Dortheus receiving 25,387 (17.47 percent).

Many of Abraham's supporters, including members of the Arfak tribe in traditional attire and carrying spears and arrows, flocked to his house to dance and sing in celebration. They were treated to a feast at the home, although latecomers were forced to do with bottled water when the food ran out. "Pak Abraham deserves the victory because besides being an indigenous man of West Irian Jaya, he has also contributed greatly to West Irian Jaya in the regional administration, including as the regent of Sorong," his campaign team manager Terianus Nauw said.

He was confident Abraham, who is a former marine brigadier general, would carry out his campaign pledges, which centered on improving public welfare. Meanwhile, Yorrys vowed to take the West Irian Jaya KPUD to court due to reports many eligible voters, mainly in Sorong, Fak-Fak and Kaimana, were unable to obtain registration cards.

"They could not use their right to vote due to the absence of the registration cards. In fact, in line with the existing agreement reached on March 2, any person with an identity card was eligible to vote," Yorrys said. "The problem does not deal with figures, but with the existing regulations," he said, adding that the lawsuit would be filed as soon as the official final vote count was announced.

Eligible voters in West Irian Jaya crowded polling stations Saturday, ignoring threats of violence if the election in the province went ahead. Voting proceeded peacefully in Manokwari, the province's capital and other regencies. The Papuan People's Assembly (MRP), representing Papuans opposed to the election said earlier that tribespeople and students were prepared to take up arms to thwart the election. However, the threat failed to materialize and there were no reports of violence Saturday.



Posted in Elections @ 13 March 2006 08:49 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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