We all want West Papua to be safe. This must also be the commitment of all candidates as well as the success team and their supporters
Manokwari (ANTARA) - Senior Adjunct Police Commissioner (AKBP), the West Papua Regional Police's spokesperson, Adam Erwindi confirmed that the security situation in West Papua Province was quite under control during the simultaneous regional elections (Pilkada).

"The situation in West Papua is under control. People in nine regions have voted smoothly," he stated.

Erwindi made assurance of no untoward incidents having occurred that disturbed the security situation in the area.

"We would like to thank the community and all elements, who are equally concerned about maintaining social security. Hopefully, the situation would continue like this until the appointment and inauguration of the elected regional head," he stated.

Head of the West Papua Regional Police, Inspector General of Police Tornagogo Sihombing undertook a direct tour on Wednesday (Dec 9) to monitor implementation of the simultaneous regional elections in Manokwari.

Sihombing along with West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan, Commander of the XVIII/Kasuari Military Command Major General I Nyoman Cantiasa, Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) for West Papua Brigadier General Hardani Lukinanta, and other officials visited several polling stations in Manokwari.

During the visit, the officials were concerned about safety, health protocols, and voter participation.

"We all want West Papua to be safe. This must also be the commitment of all candidates as well as the success team and their supporters," he affirmed.

West Papua General Elections Commission (KPU) Head Paskalis Semunya had earlier insisted on applying health protocols in all democratic processes during the 2020 regional elections to instill a sense of confidence among voters to visit polling stations on December 9.

"Implementation of the rules of health protocols is expected to enable the voter turnout rate to stay high despite the novel coronavirus pandemic situation," he notified local journalists in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua Province, on Wednesday.

To this end, those recruited for running polling station working committee (KPPS) in West Papua Province will be required to gain an understanding of a compulsory subject pertaining to the application of health protocols while partaking in a technical training program before Dec 9, he stated.

KPU offices in nine participating districts have continued to intensify public awareness campaigns on the regional elections and necessitated the application of strict rules of the government's health protocols to break the chain of the novel coronavirus disease, he remarked.

"Wearing face masks, washing hands, and maintaining social and physical distancing measures are being followed to reduce the risks of getting infected with COVID-19," Semunya remarked.

This year, regional elections will be held simultaneously in the districts of Manokwari, Manokwari Selatan, Pegunungan Arfak, Raja Ampat, Sorong Selatan, Fakfak, Teluk Wondama, Teluk Bintuni, and Kaimana.

According to the West Papua COVID-19 Task Force, Manokwari's infection rate is the highest, while Pegunungan Arfak has no confirmed cases as of November 4, 2020, he noted.

In connection with this year's regional elections, West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan has also appealed to all candidate pairs and eligible voters in nine participating districts to maintain peace and stability.

"We all must maintain peace and stability in our respective areas to enable all stages of democratic processes to run smoothly, including the voting day on December 9," he noted in his recent press statement.
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Translator: Toyiban, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020