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Overseas voting in Indonesia presidential polls begin on Friday

Published on Jul 4, 2014 2:43 PM
 

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) has released the schedule for overseas voting in the presidential election, with Indonesians living abroad authorised to cast their ballot from Friday to Sunday.

In total, Indonesians will vote in 131 cities around the world, with 18 cities scheduled to have their election on Friday.

Those 18 cities, mostly located in the Middle East, are Addis Ababa, Alger, Amman, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Havana, Jeddah, Khartoum, Kuwait, Kyiv, Manama, Maputo, Moscow, Muscat, Riyadh, Sana'a and Tehran.

In Riyadh, polls will be open from 4 pm local time on July 4 until 3am local time on July 5.

An Indonesian man pulls his cart past both presidential election candidates' banners, Joko Widodo (right) and Prabowo Subianto (left), in Jakarta on July 3, 2014 prior to July 9 vote. Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) has released the schedule for overseas voting in the presidential election, with Indonesians living abroad authorised to cast their ballot from Friday to Sunday. -- PHOTO: AFP

KPU Commissioner Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyansyah said logistics preparations for the overseas election were well underway. "Right now we're in the middle of delivering mail-in ballots and drop boxes," he said.

The mail-in ballots and drop boxes were also used by the KPU in the legislative election to accommodate eligible voters unable to go to a polling station during election day.

Ballots cast by absentee voters will be collected and counted by the Overseas Elections Committee (PPLN) from July 10 to 14.

According to the KPU commissioner, Indonesian citizens voting from abroad who were not registered on the final voter list (DPT) or the special voter list (DPK) would have to fulfill extra requirements but would still be able to vote under existing regulations.

"In principle, all Indonesian citizens, wherever they live, should be able to vote," he said.

"They (unregistered voters) can still cast their votes, but they must first register two hours before the balloting process begins," he added.

Ferry said the number of ballots sent to each polling station would be based on its number of registered voters, but that according to Constitutional Court regulation, ballots unused by registered voters would be made available for those who were previously unregistered.

Commenting on the upcoming overseas voting, National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) chairman Hafid Abbas said that the voting rights of many Indonesians living overseas were still being neglected by the KPU.

"There are 6.5 million of our people living overseas, but those recorded on the DPT are only 2 million," he said on Wednesday.

The KPU has registered 188.26 million domestic voters and 2.03 million voters overseas for the 2014 presidential election on July 9. There will be 478,883 polling stations set up in regions across the country and 498 overseas.

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