Mob burns down election offices after lawsuit over election dispute rejected
Nethy Dharma Somba
The Jakarta Post
Supporters of regent and deputy regent candidates in Central Mamberamo regency have allegedly protested violently over a Constitutional Court (MK) ruling that an independent pair is not eligible to participate in the upcoming regional elections.
The mob allegedly burned down the Central Mamberamo Elections Commission (KPU Central Mamberamo) and Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) offices in Kobakman on Wednesday morning.
“The MK rejected an election dispute [lawsuit] filed by independent candidate pair Itaman Thago and Onny Pagawak, making their supporters angry and [resulting in] the launch of an arson attack,” KPU Papua member Tarwinto told The Jakarta Post in Jayapura on Wednesday.
Thago-Pagawak filed a lawsuit with the Makassar State Administrative Court (PTUN) against KPU Central Mamberamo’s decision to declare the pair ineligible to run in the simultaneous regional elections on June 27. KPU Central Mamberamo said there was not enough voter support for the two candidates.
“The MK decision was signed on Monday,” said Tarwinto. With the ruling, only one candidate pair, Ham Pagawak-Yonas Kenelak, will participate in the Central Mamberamo election. The Pagawak-Kenelak ticket was supported by all political parties, which have seats at the Central Mamberamo Legislative Council.
Tarwinto asserted that it would not be acceptable for KPU Central Mamberamo to delay the June 27 election despite the incident. “The regional election will continue to run as scheduled. We will hand over the arson attack incident to law enforcers,” he said.
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said the situation in Kobakman had been dealt with as security officers immediately took measures to disperse the mob soon after they launched the attack. (ebf)
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