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Indonesians cast ballots for House of Representatives
By Mariecar Jara-Puyod April 05, 2014
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DUBAI: Qualified Indonesians in Dubai and the Northern Emirates cast their vote at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (CGRI) on Friday, ahead of the April 9 parliamentary elections in their country.

Election time for the manual voting was from 8am to 6pm.

As of 4pm, 863 out of the 7,820 online registered voters and over 200 onsite registered voters  selected either two individual candidates from 105 contestants or two of the 15 political parties that would represent them at the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia (House of Representatives). 

The Gulf Today learned that all qualified overseas Indonesian voters, totalling two million from across the globe—from age 17 or even younger but married—are to choose their representatives for the Jakarta District.

Up for grabs for the 2014 parliamentary elections are 500 seats for all of the 34 provinces for the world’s largest archipelago.

All Indonesian diplomatic missions and posts all over the world are to hold the one-day political exercise any time from March 30 to April 6.

The Friday elections were the third overseas absentee voting (OAV) hosted by the CGRI-Dubai since 2003.

A seven-man team officially known as Indonesia’s Commission on General Elections in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (CGEDNE) has been overseeing the political exercise since June 2012.

Composed of five volunteer workers from the Indonesian Community and two CGRI-Dubai officials namely Consul Adiguna Wijaya and CGRI-Dubai Treasurer Istabah Abdulah, they would also be in charge of the counting of ballots from 1pm on April 9.

The counting of the ballots is open to the public.

CGEDNE head Nashiruddin Mawardi told The Gulf Today that information dissemination about the OAV parliamentary elections began from June 2012.

The website for the on line registration was activated in March 2013.

He said Indonesians in the six emirates, estimated between 90,000 and 115,000, had procrastinated enlisting for the elections.

Registrants surged by the day since January 2014 and were at 7,820 as of 1pm on April 3.

Onsite registration was implemented to give way for those unable to register online.

The number of registered voters determined the logistics necessary for the OAV.

Election material from Jakarta, particularly the ballots, the bottles of indelible ink and holographic seals to secure all documents had been received by the CGEDNE on March 19.

The CGEDNE set up nine polling precincts at the CGRI-Dubai premises.

Fatima Aco from West Java and a resident of Dubai for four years said: “It is good to participate in elections. We are electing new leaders.”

Consul General Imam Santoso said: “We are happy that Indonesians from Dubai and the Northern Emirates have participated in our elections. They come from all levels. This means they are politically aware.”

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