National

President officiates election
campaign season

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday officially initiated the 21-day open campaign period with an inaugural speech in which he called on all parties to make the upcoming legislative elections another success in the history of Indonesia's democracy.

Yudhoyono asked all election participants to obey existing regulations regarding campaign procedures, including those set by the General Elections Commission (KPU), on campaign schedules.

He also called on the citizens of Indonesia to utilize their right to vote.

"Let's undertake this democratic procedure properly. Let's keep the campaigns orderly and smart ... Let's answer to the challenge of history and make Indonesia a mature democracy that is a model for the rest of the world," Yudhoyono said at the Presidential Palace.

Yudhoyono reminded state officials specifically to comply with the 2009 law on election campaign procedures, which sets out campaign leave and the use of state facilities for campaigns.

"To all state officials participating in campaign, do not misuse your power or authority ... I instruct you all to continue with your main responsibilities while making this year's elections a success," the President said.

"Development jobs and services to the public should not be disrupted or stop. I ask all government officials to be serious in tackling the impacts of the global economic crisis, which is still happening. Let's make it our top priority to stimulate growth and serve the public, even though we are in the elections period," he added.

Yudhoyono also asked the KPU to continually remind the public of elections regulations.

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