Jakarta Election Watchdog Takes Down Thousands of Campaign Posters

By webadmin on 05:53 pm Jun 15, 2012
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Lenny Tristia Tambun

The Jakarta Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu), with the help of the city’s law and order agency and the campaign teams of the six pairs of candidates running in the July 11 gubernatorial election, took down close to 6,000 campaign posters and banners illegally installed before the designated campaign period.

A drive launched on Thursday evening, at 8:00 p.m. that lasted into the early hours of Friday, netted a total of 5,979 campaign items including posters, stickers, billboards, party flags and others, the head of the Jakarta Panswalu, Ramdansyah said.

Under the law, campaign posters can only be displayed and installed during the campaign period. The period for the gubernatorial election is June 24 until July 7.

The South Jakarta municipality topped the list with 4,679 items. Coming in second, was West Jakarta with 264 items and Central Jakarta with 231 items. Only 180 items were taken down in North Jakarta. Items were also removed in East Jakarta.

“We saw that [campaign] items in the five municipalities of Jakarta numbered too high. There were even some that were pasted at random, covering traffic signs or closing down roads. This is making Jakarta increasingly unsightly and disorderly,” Ramdansyah said.

Darwis Silitonga, the head of operations of the Jakarta law and order agency, Satpol PP, said everything was taken down during the operation was now being stored in a warehouse belonging to the city government, in Cakung, North Jakarta. He said his office deployed 150 personnel.

“Actually, the number of items we cleared were much more because we did not include those stickers pasted on electricity poles, walls, trees and walls of public facilities. The number of stickers that we peeled off numbered in the tens of thousands,” Darwis said.

He said that from his observations in the field, all six pairs of candidates had stickers of themselves pasted in many places. He said the stickers gave his personnel the heaviest work load because peeling them was time consuming.

He said he has ordered the Satpol PP at the municipal and subdistrict level to continue to comb their respective areas to clean stickers and other items if they were found. He said the city should be clean of any campaign items before the campaign period begins.

“They can install their items during the campaign period, and once it is over, we hope that they will voluntarily take them down themselves,” Darwis said.

The four political party tickets are incumbent Fauzi Bowo and his running mate Nachrowi Ramli, Solo Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin and Nono Sampono, and former People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Hidayat Nurwahid and Didik J. Rachbini.

The independent tickets are economist Faisal Basri and Biem Benyamin, and retired military general Hendardji Soepandji and Ahmad Riza Patria.