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Authorities to tighten security in 2014 general election

18th January 2013 | 2.167 Views
Authorities to tighten security in 2014 general election
2014 General Election. (Ilustration ANTARANews.com)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - As Indonesia prepares for general election in 2014, government officials and other stakeholders are looking into ways to increase security in the region.

The Indonesian Police (Polri) and the General Election Commission (KPU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on security arrangements for the general election on January 16, 2013.

The MoU is a follow-up to Decree No. 09/SKB/KPU/2008 and Decree No. 8/7/VII/2008, with regard to security arrangements for the general election.

"The MoU will ensure that the general election proceeds smoothly," said National Police Chief General Timur Pradopo.

General Timur is keen to implement maximum security measures during the elections, which are held once in five years.

"Some of the challenges foreseen by authorities are money politics and controversies regarding the number of eligible voters," Timur noted.

"If these problems are not managed properly, they could affect the social fabric of the nation," he pointed out.

The police chief said he will ensure that elections are carried out in a professional, a neutral and an impartial manner.

Another MoU on integrated law enforcement was also signed by the national police, the general elections supervisory body and the attorney general.

Law enforcement cannot be implemented by one institution alone; it should also involve other institutions and the public, said Attorney General Basrief Arief.

The next direct presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014, however, are expected to proceed in an orderly manner, with only ten political parties allowed to participate in these elections.

The ten parties (written in accordance with their sequence numbers as electoral participants) are: the Partai Nasional Demokrat (Nasdem) or the National Democratic Party, the Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) or the National Awakening Party, the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) or the Prosperous Justice Party, the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP) or the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, the Partai Golongan Karya (Golkar Party) or the Golkar Party, the Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerindra) or the Great Indonesian Movement Party, the Partai Demokrat (PD) or the Demoratic Party, the Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN) or the National Mandate Party, the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) or the United Development Party, and the Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura) or the People`s Conscience Party.

The KPU will allow only ten political parties to contest in the 2014 general election. The other 24 parties had failed to meet the requirements to participate in the elections, said KPU's chairman, Husni Kamil Manik.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed hope that outdoor campaign rallies involving hundreds of thousands of people could be replaced by indoor activities with one to two thousand attendees.

He said if indoor campaign rallies take place, candidates will be able to present their views more freely and people will be able to understand their speeches better.

The head of state also said all the parties should support the winner of the presidential elections and should be willing to cooperate with him/her so that he/she can manage the country well.

"Anyone who wins the presidential elections should be given ample support so that he/she can manage the country well. It will be hard for him/her to lead the country if the public does not cooperate," he said.

With regard to the president`s idea on allowing only indoor rallies, General Timur Pradopo said he supports the idea.

"It`s good. It is regulated. We will follow it. KPU should look into indoor rallies," he said.

KPU commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay said KPU should not prevent people from presenting their ideas or opinions on the implementation of elections.

Based on the KPU's Regulation Number 15 of 2012 on the stages, programmes and schedules of the 2014 general election, the campaign period will start on January 11, 2014, and end on April 5, 2014. Voting will take place on April 9, 2014.

Political parties are not allowed to have outdoor rallies, and they are not allowed to place banners 21 days ahead of the cooling down period.

Limited meetings, however, could be carried out during the period and should involve a maximum of 1,000 attendees at central areas and 250 attendees at district/city areas.

The meetings could be carried out after the KPU, the Elections Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu), the Elections Monitoring Committee (Panwaslu), and local police stations are notified, he said.

Outdoor rallies and campaign advertisements in the mass media are only allowed from March 16 to April 5, 2014.

"We should follow these procedures. We will discuss more about the regulation for holding rallies at a later stage," he said.

According to President Yudhoyono, competition will be tight in the presidential election next year - the third direct presidential election held by Indonesia since the first one in 2004.

"The 2014 presidential election will be different from the elections held in 2004 and 2009 because there will be no incumbent in the 2014 elections, while the political arena will be wide to increase the level of competition," he said recently.

Yudhoyono is not allowed to participate in the election as he has been a president for two terms.

"There is nothing to be afraid of. The election will proceed smoothly. The presidential election will be carried out directly. International institutions claim that Indonesia's presidential elections are fair," the president stated. (*)