Jayapura (ANTARA) - It is certain that the noken system will no longer be used at polling stations (TPS) in Papua province during the 2024 elections. Instead, voters from the province will exercise their voting rights directly.

Earlier, there were a number of districts that used the noken system, but after Papua was divided into four provinces, it became certain that the system would no longer be applied in the provinces.

Papua province covers one city and eight districts — Jayapura city and the districts of Jayapura, Mamberamo Raya, Keerom, Sarmi, Supiori, Biak Numfor, Waropen, and Yapen Islands.

Under the noken system in the mountainous region, the ballot box was originally replaced with a noken or bag woven from wood bark. People with voting rights continued to go to the polling stations and followed the process till the time they placed their ballot papers, which were put in the noken instead of a ballot box.

However, this will now change since the noken is no longer a substitute for a ballot box but rather a container or means by which ballot papers in one village are given to certain candidates or parties.

Chairperson of the Papua Regional General Elections Commission (KPUD), Steve Dumbon, confirmed that the noken system will not be implemented in Papua province.

This is the first election after the formation of the New Autonomous Region (DOB) with four provinces carved out of Papua province: Papua, Papua Mountains, South Papua, and Central Papua.

Papua Mountains province includes Jayawijaya, Lanny Jaya, Tolikara, Nduga, Central Mamberamo, Yalimo, Bintang Mountains, and Yahukimo districts.

South Papua province consists of Merauke, Boven Digoel, Mappi, and Asmat districts, while Central Papua province comprises Mimika, Paniai, Intan Jaya, Deiyai, Dogiyai, and Nabire districts.

With the noken system out, it is hoped that the 2024 election will minimize election disputes.

People who have voting rights will also get to exercise their ballot during the election by going to the polling stations and choosing their candidates.

Social security disturbances

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Pol. Mathius Fakhiri said that the use of the noken system was one of the causes of social security disturbances and order in the jurisdiction of the Papua Regional Police.

Therefore, he said he was relieved that the noken system will no longer be enforced, especially in the Papua Mountains and Central Papua provinces.

The noken system is considered a trigger for conflict, with the potential to cause loss of life.

In elections using the noken system, political actors can win votes from areas that still use the noken system by approaching tribal or village heads.

Parties who feel aggrieved then try to reclaim the vote, which can cause security disturbances in the area and even spread to other areas.

Fakhiri said the police will hold meetings with KPU and Bawaslu in each new autonomous province, and one of the agendas of the meetings will be to make efforts to minimize the use of the noken system.

So, in the 2024 General Election, each voter will go to the polling station and choose their own representative, ensuring there will be one person, one vote.

Secretary of DPD Golkar - Papua, Yoppi Inggratubun, welcomed the non-use of the noken system in the 2024 elections, saying that it would be a political lesson for voters.

His party supports the implementation even though the noken system is actually not used in the nine regions of Papua province.

Doing away with the noken system will provide space for the public to exercise their voting rights democratically so that the political education process can truly take place.

Voters will also come to know and become aware of how to exercise their voting rights properly. They will be able to elect people’s representatives who can truly be trusted and become aspirators who can fight for the people’s needs.

In this way, people will be able to use their voting rights properly and correctly to determine their own choices.

Currently, his party has appointed 45 cadres as candidates for the Papua Regional People’s Representatives Council (DPRD) who will compete in 8 electoral districts.

Secretary of DPD PDIP of Papua Surya Ibrahim also conveyed the same thing while noting that the districts and cities that are part of Papua province have not used the noken system during regional elections for a long time.

“Indeed, it is better for Papua province to be free from the noken system,” Ibrahim stressed.

The quota for legislative members in DPRD Papua is 45 seats and they will be contested by prospective legislative members from 18 parties participating in the 2024 election.

The 45 seats in the DPRD Papua come from 7 electoral districts: Electoral District (Dapil) I with 8 seats in Jayapura City A covering Heran district, Abepura Muara Tami, and Dapil II with 8 seats in Jayapura City B consisting of North Jayapura and South Jayapura.

Dapil III Jayapura district has 9 seats, Dapil IV Keerom district has 4 seats, Dapil V comprising Sarmi district and Mamberamo Raya district has 3 seats, Dapil VI consisting of Supiori and Biak Numfor districts has 7 seats, and Dapil VII, which consists of Yapen Islands district and Waropen district, has 7 seats.

According to Papua province's final voter list (DPT), 727,835 people will vote at 3,109 polling stations spread across 993 villages and 105 districts during the election.

The highest number of voters will be in Jayapura city at 258,082, followed by Jayapura district (134,568), Biak Numfor (101,536), and Yapen Islands (81,879).

Then, the DPT for Keerom district will have 50,017 voters, Sarmi 30,329, Mamberamo Raya 27,292, Waropen 27,004, and Supiori district 17,128.

Related news: New Papua provinces ensured to participate in elections: VP

Related news: Facilities for disabled people in Papua in 2024 election

Translator: Evarukdijati, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
Copyright © ANTARA 2023