Military ready to secure, remain neutral in elections

With the legislative election less than two months away, the Udayana Military Command said they were prepared to safeguard proceedings and pledged its impartiality. Command spokesman Col. Wing Handoko told reporters on Thursday that his side was ready whenever the General Elections Commission (KPU) required their assistance. “We are prepared to help with the distribution of logistics as well as security,” Wing told journalists in Denpasar.

Wing, however, refused to reveal how many personnel would be allocated to the purpose, only saying that the military would assist the National Police, the main institution in charge of the election’s security. To secure the elections, the TNI proposed a budget of Rp 100 billion (US$8.3 million) to the House of Representatives, which was approved by Commission I on defense. Wing added that the command has been training Babinsa (non-commissioned military officers) to assist the military at the district level.

Meanwhile, regarding neutrality, Wing said that Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Moeldoko had instructed all personnel to stay out of politics to avoid any clash of interest. “We won’t exercise our right to vote, to ensure unity,” he said. “We are also prohibited from directing our family members to a certain choice.” Wing said an officer caught breaching the general’s instruction would receive harsh punishment.

The general’s instruction came following a call by Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. Purnomo said the military must support the politics of the state but not engage in it. He also hoped that politicians would not push them into practical politics. The legislative election is slated for April 9. In Bali, the local office of the KPU reported that there were 2.93 million registered eligible voters, which was was a slight decrease from 2.94 million voters in the gubernatorial election in early 2013.

Buleleng regency has the highest number of eligible voters at 532,138, followed by Denpasar with 407,541 and Karangasem with 378,147. Klungkung has the lowest number registered with 153,487. A total of 2,780 names were deleted from the final voter list during the factual verification stage due to multiple registrations, Bali General Elections Commission (KPUD) chairman, Dewa Kade Wiarsa Raka Sandi, has said.

However, Sandi explained, the commission remained open for all registered residents on the island who were not yet registered. Sandi said those people could still register with the KPUD up to only a few days before the election.

source : bali daily

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