Candidates cry foul and walk out of count
Nethy Dharma Somba
The Jakarta Post
Papua gubernatorial candidate pair, Noak Nawipa and John Wob, walked out of the plenary session of the Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD) at Cenderawasih Sports Hall in Jayapura on Wednesday.
The session collated election results from 29 regencies and mayoralties across Papua and was followed by a meeting to formally announce the new Papua governor and vice governor for the 2013-2018 period.
Noak and John’s protest was based on field findings indicating that polls in a number of regencies, especially those in mountainous regions, were not carried out directly, freely and confidentially, but under the pressure of the authorities to vote for a particular candidate.
“We reject the result and demand a rerun of the election as the democratic rights of the people to choose their leader has been seized by the authorities, from the regency to the village level. Vote rigging has taken place everywhere and we believe a number of regencies failed to even hold the election,” he asserted.
Noak and John said they would report the alleged infringement to the Constitutional Court.
”We will definitely report the matter to the Constitutional Court as a democratic lesson to the people,” he said.
During the plenary session, one by one the regency and municipal councils from across the province reported their count results.
As of 2 p.m. local time, with 10 of the 29 regency and mayoralty KPUDs in Papua having turned in their results, Lukas Enembe and Klemen Tinal were in a dominant position.
Regarding the walkout by Noak and John, Papua KPUD head Benny Sweni said it was their right to attend the open plenary session or not, and the walkout would have no impact on the official result.
”It’s their right to walkout of the plenary session. It’s also alright if any of the KPUD members do not accept the result,” said Benny.
Regarding the move threat by Noak and John to file suit at the Constitutional Court, Benny said it was also their right.
“They are welcome to. It is their right if they’re not satisfied. Please take the legal avenue,” he said.
There was a heavy security presence at the plenary session and the situation in Papua remains peaceful.
“Today [Wednesday], during the plenary session to elect the Papua governor, the situation remains calm,” said Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian in Jayapura.
Of the six Papua gubernatorial candidates, only candidate Lukas Enembe attended the plenary session. The other candidates were represented by their campaign team members, or poll watchers
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