KPU finalizes seat allocations for Papua

KPU finalizes seat allocations for Papua

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

After a series of delays, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has decided to go with the results of its original count of votes from the legislative election in Papua, bowing to the Elections Supervisory Board's (Bawaslu) official recommendation.

KPU chairman Abdul Hafiz Anshari said the decision was made in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday with the poll watchdog, which initially ruled that the tallying of votes in Papua was "unacceptable".

"Therefore, we decide to annul the change we made on Aug. 21 and concluded no change should be made to Papua's *original* tally," he told a press conference Thursday.

Bawaslu had previously recommended the poll body revise the vote tally made in August, saying that any attempt to change a tally after the Constitutional Court had ruled on outstanding election disputes could be considered a criminal act.

The KPU's decision to use the original tally, which it had made in May, means Gerindra will lose the chance to secure an additional seat, and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle

(PDI-P) will retain its only seat in Papua.

The Democratic Party will get three seats, the Golkar Party two, and one each will go to the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura).

Abdul said the KPU had delayed the announcement of its decision because it needed time to cross-check data.

KPU member I Gusti Putu Artha said earlier Wednesday that the announcement on the disputed tally was not immediately made "as a matter of conflict management".

The KPU also confirmed Thursday the status of four legislative candidates waiting for their positions in the House to be officially declared.

"We have decided to go with Bawaslu's recommendation for three out of the four candidates," Abdul said.

The KPU agrees with Bawaslu that Eri Purnomo Hadi (PAN) and Suwardjono (Gerindra) do not meet the requirements to be inaugurated as a legislators.

The poll body also accepted Bawaslu's recommendation on the fate of, M Mahfud of the United Development Party (PPP), meaning he will indeed be inaugurated.

The KPU, however, went against Bawaslu's recommendation on the status of Ahmad Daeng Sere, also from the PPP.

"Bawaslu said Ahmad did not meet the requirements for inauguration, but after extensive analysis, we have data that strongly supports his eligibility," Abdul said.

The KPU also confirmed Thursday the seat allocation for a disputed electoral district in South Sulawesi. The poll body had announced early in September that a seat in the district was won by a candidate from Hanura.

"We gave the seat to Hanura because we received a letter dated Aug. 14 from the Constitutional Court saying the party was entitled to 13,012 additional votes in Gowa regency, 5,443 more votes in Takalang and 4,206 more votes in Jeneponto," he said.