Ministry guarantees overseas marked ballots counted on Apr 17

Ministry guarantees overseas marked ballots counted on Apr 17

(File Photo) - Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Director of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection Lalu Muhammad Iqbal. (ANTARA/Yashinta Difa Pramudnyani)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has made assurance that the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) will conduct the counting of votes of Indonesians taking part in the 2019 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections scheduled on Apr 17.

This statement was made by Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the ministry's Director for the Protection of Indonesian Nationals and Entities Abroad, in his brief message made available to journalists in Jakyarta, Wednesday.

"Different vote-casting methods are applied and the time zones of Indonesia and overseas nations and territories differ," he stated, adding that the methods followed overseas encompasses votes being cast at polling booths, sent via mail, and then placed in mobile voting boxes.

The use of mobile ballot boxes will come into effect between April 8 and April 14, 2019, while the PPLN will oversee the vote-casting process at ballot booths on Apr 8-14 based on the condition of the respective countries, he remarked.

As an example, numerous overseas election committees in Middle-East nations will have permitted their eligible voters to cast their ballot on Apr 12 since Friday being a holiday there, Iqbal explained.

In Yemen, the Sana'a-based overseas election committee will manage eligible voters residing in Hadhramaut to exercise their voting right on Apr 8, while residents of European, American, and Asian Continents will follow suit on Apr 13.

"Nevertheless, the counting of votes will be conducted concurrently on Apr 17," Iqbal, who steadfastly denounced rumors spread across different social media platforms of the counting of the marked ballot papers of voters residing abroad being completed.

Commissioner of the General Elections Commission Hasyim Asy'ari had earlier announced Apr 17 as the day for the counting of votes.

The overseas voting activities were organized in the Yemeni city of Sana'a on Apr 8 and thereafter in Panama and the capital city of Ecuador, Quito, on Apr 9.

On Wednesday, eligible voters residing in Bangkok and Songkhla, Thailand, cast their ballot, he remarked.

The General Election Commission (KPU) has lined up five rounds of presidential debates for the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pairs for the 2019 presidential election.

The first and second presidential debates were organized on January 17 and February 17, 2019, respectively, during which the two presidential candidates expressed their views and perspectives on issues encompassing law, corruption, terrorism, the environment, and infrastructure.

The third debate, on Mar 17, drew focus to educational, employment, health, as well as social and cultural issues, while the fourth round, covering international and ideological issues, was organized on Mar 30, while the fifth round, focusing on economic issues, will take place on Apr 13.

The presidential debates, televised live by several TV channels, will enable some 192 million eligible voters to gain a comprehensive understanding of the capacity and capability of the two pairs.

This information will facilitate the public to have a rational outlook while voting, and irrespective of which pair emerges victorious in the upcoming presidential election, Indonesia will bear witness to a new and capable president and vice president.

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