KPU: Haze Casts Shadow Over Regional Elections


OCTOBER 28, 2015

Jakarta. The General Elections Commission, or KPU, has warned the on-going haze crisis has begun disrupting the preparations ahead of December's simultaneous regional elections.

“The haze limits the visibility range which hampers us from going places across the country to distribute the equipment needed for the simultaneous regional election,” Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyansyah, the KPU's Commissioner, said on Tuesday via the official website of the Elections Supervisory Board.

At least 48 districts and cities of five provinces have been severely affected by the haze — 14 in Central Kalimantan, 11 in Jambi, nine in Riau and seven in both South Sumarta and West Kalimantan — hampering efforts by election officials to supervise and monitor the preparation process.

Ferry has confirmed National Police, military and commission officials will assist in the distribution of election equipment, such as ballot boxes.

Masykurudin Hafidz, coordinator for the People's Voter Education Board (JPPR), has expressed concerns of the haze interrupting recruitment and training processes for election officials, as well as disrupting candidate campaigns.

“The officials who are supposed to join the training for the knowledge and skills necessary for the voting processes are likely to not attend,” Masykurudin said.

“The limited visibility range also contributes to the voters having difficulty to see clearly the campaigning slogans, the candidates' visions, missions and programs written on the candidates' banners,” he added.

Regional elections may be forced to be delayed by the government if more is not done to end the crisis, he said.

Indonesia will for the first time stage simultaneous regional elections in more than 200 provinces, districts and cities on Dec. 9.