‘Smooth’ start for polls in Merauke, Asmat

‘Smooth’ start for polls in Merauke, Asmat
, 10 August 2010

Voters in Merauke and Asmat went to the polls Monday as the two regencies held the first two of 23 local elections scheduled for 2010 in Papua.

Four tickets were vying for the Merauke administration’s top positions: Frederikus Gebze-Waryoto, Laurensius Gebze-Adnan Rusyadi, Daniel Walinaulik-Oma La Duani La Damai and Rumanus Mbaraka-Sunardjo.

Merauke General Elections Commission (KPUD) member Jaya Abdul Su’ud said 140,272 voters were eligible to cast their votes on Monday at 403 polling stations in 20 districts, 160 villages and eight subdistricts.

“According to preliminary reports, every polling station had completed voting operations and started counting votes by 2 p.m. The voting process is running peacefully,” Jaya told The Jakarta Post by telephone.

All four regent candidates are native Meraukens, while the deputy regent candidates are all from outside the province.

The Rumanus Mbaraka-Sunardjo ticket was in the lead Monday according to preliminary results, reports said.

The election commission said it expected to announce the poll winners on Aug. 19.

“We will continue to inform the public of preliminary vote counts and will announce the winners at the plenary session on Aug. 19,” he said.

In Asmat, there were 50,414 eligible voters who could cast votes at 172 polling stations in seven districts.

KPUD member Laurentius Ale said there was “smooth voting” and voters were enthusiastic about the process.

“The polling stations started vote tabulations at 3 p.m.,” Laurentius said.

The three tickets in the election are Thomas E. Safanco-Sefnath Meukbun, Yuvensius Biakai-Motong Sarigan and Xaverius Kamepits-Azrul Wail Padupai.

Safanco is the current Asmal legislative council speaker and Yuvensius is former regent.

As in the Merauke poll, all the candidates for Asmat regent were native residents who were joined by non-Papuans as deputy regent candidates.

The poll winners will be announced on Aug. 22.