Just Turned 17? In Jakarta’s Runoff Election, You Can’t Vote

By webadmin on 12:48 pm Jul 21, 2012
Category Archive

Ronna Nirmala

The General Elections Commission announced on Friday that only Jakartans who turned 17 before the July 11 gubernatorial election would be allowed to vote in the Sept. 20 runoff vote.

The decision will likely be disappointing to many first-time voters who will turn 17 between those dates.

But the commission known as the KPU said that allowing new voters to participate in the runoff vote would mean making more changes to the final voter list set by the KPU’s Jakarta office, the KPUD.

“We won’t accommodate those who just turned 17, but only those who were already 17 before July 11,” KPU commissioner Juri Ardiantoro said.

The commission is instructing KPUD to update its voter list after many eligible voters complained that they were not originally on the list and were therefore unable to vote on July 11.

Several outposts have been set up in urban wards across the capital to receive complaints, but officials have been told not to cater to first-time voters who have turned 17 since the first election.

The KPUD’s final voter list has received widespread criticism after declaring 6,962,348 Jakarta residents eligible. The figure was inconsistent with data from the Home Affairs Ministry that suggested there should only be 5.8 million eligible voters in Jakarta.

The KPU earlier issued instructions for its Jakarta chapter to not make any changes to its final voter list, but a recent decision by the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) to sanction KPUD chairwoman Dahliah Umar over the list controversy forced the KPU head office to reconsider its earlier instructions.

The DKPP has instructed the Jakarta office to update its list after many citizens complained that they were not listed and denied their right to vote.

Juri said the KPU would issue a decree annulling its earlier decision. The new decree, he said, would provide the legal basis needed for the KPUD to update its list.

“We have prepared [the new decree],” the commissioner said. “On Monday at the latest, the KPU in Jakarta [KPUD] will have the decree in their hands.”

Solo Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, were named as the official winners of the first round of the Jakarta governor’s race on Thursday.

The pair secured 42.59 percent of total votes cast, with 1,847,157 ballots in their favor, according to the official vote tally by the KPUD.

Governor Fauzi Bowo and his running mate, Nachrowi Ramli, finished in second place with 1,476,648 votes, securing 34.05 percent of the vote.

The two favored tickets will face off in a Sept. 20 runoff election since neither side was able to secure the 50 percent minimum needed to win the election outright.

Former People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Hidayat Nur Wahid, from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), finished a distant third, garnering only 11.72 percent of the vote. Faisal Basri, an independent, was next with 4.98 percent of votes cast.

South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin finished fifth with 202,643 votes (4.67 percent), while independent candidate Hendardji Soepandji finished last with 85,990 votes (1.98 percent).

Sixty-three percent of the eligible voters turned up to the polls, with 4,407,141 Jakarta residents casting ballots.