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Disenfranchised:: A patient sits in front of a polling station at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. Patients and medical staff at many hospital across Jakarta could not vote due to lack of proper documentation. JP/Jerry AdigunaWednesday’s voting for the next Jakarta governor went well, even better than the first direct gubernatorial election in 2007, but still far from perfect, according to election watchdogs.
The Jakarta Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) said the voting process had been conducive, while other independent watchdogs found irregularities at several polling stations.
“The Jakarta General Elections Commission [KPU Jakarta] did its job well and in accordance with procedures,” said the commission’s chairman, Ramdansyah Bakir.
Wahyu Dinata from the Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP) listed some irregularities in the voting process, from residents who complained they had not received an invitation to cast their votes to the presence of campaign attributes at some polling stations.
“Although the Panwaslu determined that wearing shirts identified with a particular candidate was permissible as clothing couldn’t be categorized as a campaign attribute, it still influenced voters in our opinion,” Wahyu said.
Many campaigners and supporters present at polling stations wore their camp’s iconic shirts, such as the orange batik shirt of Hidayat Nur Wahid and the blue-and-red checked shirt of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Jokowi, however, did not wear the checked shirt when accompanying Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri to cast her vote near the latter’s house in Kebagusan, South Jakarta, early in the day.
“I always talk about being honest and clean. I didn’t wear the shirt when I went to the polling station to prevent the perception that I was trying to influence voters. I didn’t want people to think badly about me if I had worn that shirt,” he said.
His running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, however, was clad in the symbolic shirt for voting day.
According to the People’s Voter Education Network (JPPR), the flawed voter list topped the problems faced in the election, followed by intimidation of voters by supporters of certain candidates, the illegal presence of campaign attributes, substandard logistics and allegations of money politics.
JPPR leader, Yus Fitriadi, said that despite the high enthusiasm among Jakartans, some of them could not exercise their voting rights because their names were not on the list compiled by the KPU Jakarta.
One family of three in Kebagusan, for example, could not cast their votes at TPS 32 polling station because they were not on the voter list. “They came to vote but we could not allow them to do so because they didn’t have the invitation to vote,” said one of the polling station’s officials, Soeradji.
Soeradji advised them to go to the subdistrict office to confirm their voting eligibility.
Yus said the JPPR had also uncovered at least five cases of money politics. He said residents in Tegalparang, South Jakarta had received money ranging from Rp 30,000 (US$3.18) to Rp 240,000 to vote for certain candidates.
Kebagusan resident Muliah, 78, said that one person had promised to give her food. “My husband told me and he showed me where to perforate the ballot paper,” she said.
In all, Yus said, the JPPR had found 100 irregularities from reports submitted by its 1,058 volunteers who had monitored polling stations in their respective neighborhoods. “We are still tabulating the data and we will announce our findings on Thursday,” Yus said, adding that after collecting solid evidence they would report specific cases to the Panwaslu.
Meanwhile, the poll commission also facilitated voting by otherwise ineligible voters in hospitals and penitentiaries. However, the city police said that detainees holding Jakartan identification cards at the police headquarters’ detention center could not vote, as no preparations had been made for a polling station in the building.
“None of the detainees received invitation letters to vote and the city’s KPU did not establish a special polling station for them at police headquarters,” said the police’s director for detainees and evidence, Sr. Comr. Aris Munandar.
According to him, there were currently 592 detainees, including those being held at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the counterterrorism unit. He did not specify how many of the 592 detainees held Jakartan ID cards.
Dozens of patients, doctors and hospital staffers could not exercise their right to vote because they had not received letters from the election commission stating that they could cast their votes at the hospitals.
Throughout the voting period until polls closed at 1 p.m., no officials visited Tarakan Hospital in Central Jakarta, causing disappointment to the 208 patients, all of whom were eligible voters. Doctors and patients at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) were similarly deprived of their right to vote as they did not have the requisite letter, although their names were on the voters’ register. (cor)