Millions of indigenous people may lose voting rights: Alliance
Gemma Holliani Cahya
The Jakarta Post
Around three million indigenous people in areas across Indonesia may not be able to participate in the 2018 regional elections and 2019 legislative and presidential elections because they do not have e-ID cards, an alliance said on Thursday.
Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) secretary general Rukka Sombolinggi said around one million out of the three million indigenous people lived in conservation areas, which did not belong to any village or other administrative area.
Another one million are native faith followers, Rukka went on to say. Although the Constitutional Court has granted them the right to state their beliefs on their e-ID cards, they are still facing problems when they want to cite their religious preferences, she added.
“Meanwhile, the remaining one million people live in rural areas, which are quite difficult for information and population administrative services personnel to reach. They are off the government’s radar,” Rukka told journalists on Thursday during the 5th AMAN National Working Meeting in Minahasa regency, North Sulawesi.
Rukka said her institution aimed to discuss the matter immediately with the General Elections Commission (KPU). “Every Indonesian must have the right to vote,” she said.
Therefore, everyone in the country must have an e-ID card. “This is not only about voting. This is giving them right to be registered as an Indonesia citizen so their children can go to school, have a birth certificate and have the chance of a better life,” Rukka said.
Established in 1999, AMAN represents around 17 million members of more than 2,300 indigenous communities across Indonesia. (ebf)
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