Sunday, August 25, 2019

Papua election commissioners suspected of vote-rigging

Jul 12. 2019
Officials carry ballot boxes for the 2019 elections at Wamena Airport in Jayawijaya, Papua. The boxes were transported by helicopter to Yalimo regency. Photo by Antara/Yusran Uccang 
Officials carry ballot boxes for the 2019 elections at Wamena Airport in Jayawijaya, Papua. The boxes were transported by helicopter to Yalimo regency. Photo by Antara/Yusran Uccang 
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By The Jakarta Post
Asia News Network

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Local authorities have named six commissioners of the Papua General Elections Commission (KPU Papua) suspected of vote-rigging in connection with the 2019 concurrent elections.

The suspects are Zufri Abubakar, Zandra Mambrasar, Diana Dorthea Simbiak, Melkianus Kambu, Fransiskus Antonius Letsoin and president commissioner Theodorus Kosay.

“They were named suspects on Monday,” Papua Integrated Law Enforcement Team (Gakkumdu) lead investigator Adj Sr Comr Steven T Tauran said on Wednesday, without elaborating.

The six commissioners allegedly rigged the legislative election by transferring or reducing the number of votes for a Gerindra Party legislative candidate in electoral district Papua 1.

The case began after a legislative candidate from Gerindra, Ronald Engko, reported the commissioners to the task force on June 11, upon finding that the number of votes he won had changed at a KPU Papua plenary session at the Grand Abe Hotel in Jayapura.

Engko’s lawyer, Yusman Konoras, said the report had been discussed by the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Papua, which subsequently concluded that the KPU Papua commissioners had violated administrative procedures. The Bawaslu issued a written rebuke to the KPU Papua.

“Based on the Bawaslu’s conclusion, we reported the KPU Papua to the Gakkumdu task force for a criminal offence,” Konoras said.

Separately, KPU Papua commissioner Zandra Mambrasar confirmed the suspects’ names, saying that the problematic vote count had occurred in Heram district, South Jayapura, and in North Jayapura.

“This should be the responsibility of the KPU Jayapura, but Ronald Engko has reported the KPU Papua instead,” he said.

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