Govt worries about voter
apathy in 2014 elections

The government is worried that voter participation in the 2014 elections will decline as people are getting more and more pessimistic about the organization of elections in Indonesia.

Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said the level of voter participation in the country’s five-yearly elections tended to decline. He said in average there was a 10 percent decline of voter participation in every election.

He said the rate of voter participation in the 2009 elections stood at 71 percent, down from 84.07 percent in 2004 and 92.74 percent in 1999.

“We don’t want to see a further decline in the 2014 elections. It’s a challenge for us,” said Gamawan in a national coordination meeting on Thursday.

He said a synergy of multiple elements was needed to make sure that the 2014 elections would run safe and smooth.

Gamawan said the role of local administrations in succeeding the implementation of the 2014 elections was very crucial particularly in distributing election materials, such as ballot papers, to remote areas.

He added that local administrations also could play roles in both increasing the voter participation and safeguarding their regions from election-related conflicts.

“We don’t want any violent incidents to happen again during direct elections of regional heads (Pilkada) in their respective regions in the 2014 elections,” said Gamawan, adding Papua saw 27 people killed during its direct elections, making it as the most violent region in the Pilkada.

General Elections Commission (KPU) chairperson Husni Kamil Malik said the number of voters in the commission’s temporary voter list for the 2014 elections reached 187.5 million, but the number was likely to change in the next several months. (apt/ebf)

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