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BerichtOnderwerp: Megawati questions govt competence in handling elections   vr 21 aug 2015 - 2:49

The Jakarta Post, Thu, August 20 2015

The leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has blasted the government for a chaotic process in the run-up to the Dec. 9 simultaneous local elections, a glitch that may have derailed the nomination of popular Surabaya Mayor Tri “Risma” Rismaharini, one of the party’s best known politicians.

Speaking at a gathering organized by the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), PDI-P chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri directed her criticisms particularly toward President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the General Elections Commission (KPU) over what she saw as their incompetence in preparing for the elections.

Megawati questioned the KPU’s policy in insisting on postponing elections in areas that saw only one ticket, such as Surabaya, a problem which arose simply from the incumbent’s unchallenged popularity, and also slammed Jokowi for his reluctance to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to override the KPU’s decision.

“[…] This republic is so confusing. Now that we have a leader, there are still constraints that blocked her [Risma’s] endorsement,” Megawati said.

Megawati cited a conversation she had with Risma over the latter’s intention to withdraw from the race.

The PDI-P chairperson also shared a story about a meeting with Jokowi, during which she asked the President to issue a Perppu to help Risma’s cause.

“[The government] could not do it. It would embarrass the government if the DPR rejected [the Perppu],” Megawati said, quoting Jokowi’s response to her request.

Megawati also said that Jokowi had turned down her proposal to allow incumbents to remain in office until their terms expired instead of having to face the simultaneous elections.

“I don’t know what brains are for if we think that way. For me, if we do have a leader, we must let the person take the lead to bring Indonesia to a better future,” she said.

Besides Surabaya, other regions that could see their elections postponed until 2017 include Samarinda municipality in East Kalimantan. But last week, one more ticket registered with the local elections commission, so the municipality could join other regions in the ballot on Dec. 9.

In the case of Surabaya, for example, the Risma-Whisnu Sakti Buana ticket could finally contest the poll after the National Mandate Party (PAN) in collaboration with the Democratic Party officially registered the Rasiyo-Dhimam Abror ticket on the final day of registration on Tuesday last week.

The Rasiyo-Dhimam ticket backed down early in the registration period as the PAN central board declined to issue a recommendation.

Some speculated that the delay was intentional to postpone the regional election in Surabaya and reduce Risma’s chance of winning.

PAN chairman Zulkifli Hasan turned down such speculation, saying that a “courier service failed to deliver [the recommendation] letter in time”

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