Sat, 29 Mar 2003

'Public not aware of election preparations'

Arya Abhiseka, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Winarto, a public minivan driver plying the Kebayoran Lama-Tanah Abang route, was obviously baffled when asked if he was ready to register for the 2004 general elections.

"Elections? This Tuesday? No, I didn't know that registration was so soon," Winarto, 32, told The Jakarta Post early this week.

Udin, 22, a janitor at a film company in Central Jakarta, said that he had no idea yet of the time line or the mechanism of next year's general election.

"I am not familiar with the entire process of the next year's general election," he said.

The National Elections Commission (KPU) had decided to start voter registration for next year's elections on April 1, 2003. The commission said earlier that there were around 130 million eligible voters around the country.

Sadly, however, not too many people are aware of the time line set by KPU, and according to Hadar Gumay from the Center for Electoral Reform (CETRO), members of the House of Representatives (DPR) are to blame for that.