Thu, 18 Dec 2003

One-round election mooted

JAKARTA: Members of the Constitutional Commission (MK) agreed on Wednesday that the presidential election should involve only one round in an attempt to reduce expense and political tension.

Deputy commission chairman Ishak Latuconsina said that the commission would revise the Constitution so as to allow for a one-round presidential election.

The revision would be offered to the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) for approval in March next year.

"We will discuss the issue with the political parties to persuade them to accept the draft," Ishak told a press conference on Wednesday.

Under the law as it now stands, a second round of presidential elections has to be held if the first round fails to produce a clear winner.

At least 24 parties have been declared eligible to run in next year's general election, after which the country will hold its first ever direct presidential election.

The MPR agreed last year to set up a commission to assess the amended Constitution. The commission was established last August and was given seven months to complete its work.

Ishak refused to give any detailed information on the other conclusions reached by the 31-strong commission. -- JP

;JP;IWA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-witnesses-report 'Witnesses not to sign vote reports' JP/4/scene

'Witnesses not to sign vote reports'

JAKARTA: The General Elections Commission (KPU) said on Wednesday that monitors of the 2004 general election would not be required to sign the reports on ballot counts in order to speed up the election process.

According to KPU deputy chairman Ramlan Surbakti, asking election monitors to do so would only slow down the count. He did not explain why.

In the 1999 election, election monitors had to sign the reports on the ballot counts they had witnessed.

Indonesia will hold a legislative election in April 2004 and direct presidential election in July. At least 24 parties have qualified to participate in the legislative election.

;JP;DEWI; ANPAa..r.. Scene-PKB Nursyahbani joins PKB JP/ /SCENEKPI

Nursyahbani joins PKB

JAKARTA: The secretary-general of the Indonesian Women's Coalition for Justice and Democracy, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, said here on Wednesday that her five-year term as secretary- general had expired and that it was time for someone new to take over.

Nursyahbani said that she had refused to be reappointed as there were many talented and creative young party members whom she believed would be suitable to serve as the KPI's frontwoman.

"If I stay and let myself be re-elected, it'll mean that there will be no regeneration in the KPI," she told The Jakarta Post.

She added that she was now a legislative candidate for the National Awakening Party (PKB) in East Java province.

Although she was listed as a second candidate for the party, she was not sure which district she would be standing in.

"It could be either Probolinggo or Madura," she said. --JP