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Jakarta Post

19 district heads complain to Ombudsman about their suspect status

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura, Papua   /   Fri, March 31, 2017   /   06:37 pm
19 district heads complain to Ombudsman about their suspect status Cast your vote: Residents attend an election simulation in Asano subdistrict, Abepura district, Jayapura, Papua, ahead of regional elections held simultaneously on Feb.15. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

Nineteen district heads on Friday reported the Jayapura Police to the Indonesian Ombudsman in Papua for naming them suspects over alleged violations committed during the simultaneous elections on Feb. 15.

Ombudsman Papua head Iwanggin Sabar Olif received the complaints from the 19 district heads. “We will follow it up at the provincial and national levels,” he said.

As reported earlier, the Jayapura Police named the 19 district heads suspects for allegedly rejecting the organizing of revotes in their respective areas, an alleged crime that could see them face maximum prison terms of six-months.

Jayapura District Head Association deputy chairman Alfons Awoitouw, who led the 19 district heads to file their complaints, said the Jayapura Police had used a letter they sent to the Jayapura Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwas) and the Jayapura General Elections Committee (KPU) as its basis to name them suspects.

“We very much regret it. How could the letter come into the hands of a candidate pair that later used it as a basis to report us to the Integrated Law Enforcement Center [Gakkumdu]?” said Alfons.

(Read also: Jayapura regent reported to home minister over election funds)

He said that in the letter, the district heads questioned a recommendation submitted by Panwas to the KPU Jayapura on the need to hold revotes in several districts. The Panwas said revotes must be conducted at 299 polling stations in 17 districts because many polling stations and voting officers were “fictitious.”

“It’s baseless. Without first conducting a thorough examination, Panwas recommended the KPU Jayapura to hold revotes. This was why we sent a letter to Panwas and KPU Jayapura, suggesting them not to hold revotes. It was not a decision but only a suggestion,” said Alfons. (ebf)