Foreign observers witness regional head elections in South Tangerang

South Tangerang City was designated as a model region for pilkada being held simultaneously in 264 regions across the country.
Tangerang, Banten (ANTARA News) - Some 112 foreign observers are witnessing the implementation of the simultaneous regional elections (pilkada) in South Tangerang, according to Head of the South Tangerang General Election Commission (KPU) Mohamad Subhan.

South Tangerang City was designated as a model region for pilkada being held simultaneously in 264 regions across the country, he said here, Wednesday.

They will be staying until the ballot counting process is completed, he revealed.

They came at the invitation of the Indonesian government on a reciprocal basis.

"Since Indonesia is also often invited to observe elections in other countries," he noted.

They arrived in Jakarta on Monday (Dec. 7) and were briefed on the election processes on Tuesday.

After witnessing the election process, they will return to Jakarta and discuss what they had observed and experienced.

Three pairs of candidates, including the incumbent mayor, are contesting in the mayoral elections in South Tangerang.

The foreign observers are from Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Australia, in addition to 25 ambassadors from friendly countries.

Several eligible voters went to polling stations to cast their ballots in Indonesias first-ever simultaneous pilkada being held in 264 regions on Wednesday.

Initially, the pilkada would be organized in 269 regions, but the KPU announced on Tuesday evening that pilkada in five regions would be postponed.

The five regions are Central Kalimantan Province, Fakfak District (Papua), Pematang Siantar municipality (North Sumatra), Simalungun District (North Sumatra), and Manado city (North Sulawesi), according to KPU Commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay.

More than 800 pairs of regional head candidates are contesting in the elections to elect eight governors and vice governors, 222 district heads and their deputies, and 34 mayors and their deputies.

According to data recently provided by the KPU, some 100,461,890 Indonesians comprising 50,297,463 men and 50,164,427 women are eligible voters in the 2015 pilkada.

Besides this, there are also 268,652 people comprising 135,523 men and 133,129 women in the Additional Final Voters List (DPTb-1).

"There will be 2,031,465 first-time voters comprising 1,020,511 men and 1,010,954 women. The number of voters with disabilities is 128,391 people," KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik remarked recently.

According to Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti, more than 140 thousand police officers have been deployed to secure the pilkada on December 9.

The Indonesia military (TNI) is set to deploy 35,079 soldiers to help the police secure the pilkada being held in more than 50 percent regions of Indonesia.(*)