National figures call for close monitoring of general elections

National figures call for close monitoring of general elections

Azyumardi Azra. (ANTARA)

In the short term, empowering the community groups, civil communities, and non-governmental organizations is of key importance."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Several prominent national figures have urged several community groups in addition to the Election Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu), for closely monitoring the implementation of the general elections this year.

Muslim figure Azyumardi Azra stated that the election monitoring process should also involve community groups who can be empowered to ensure that the country holds clean elections, which are devoid of potential political transactions and frauds.

"In the short term, empowering the community groups, civil communities, and non-governmental organizations is of key importance. Although, they are small, yet they are strongly committed towards consolidating democracy," remarked the rector of state Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic University at a national gathering held by Bawaslu, here on Wednesday.

He emphasized that although it would be extremely challenging to totally wipe out political transactions in the upcoming elections, but this practice can be minimized by empowering the civil and religion-based communities.

In the meantime, Catholic priest Antonius Benny Susetyo Pr., emphasized that political education was crucial, particularly for the middle-class voters, so that they are in a better position to choose the right legislative candidates in the April 9 election.

"We are still optimistic that if the middle-class voters muster the courage to elect the right candidate, then it has the potential to unleash a positive change that can be enjoyed by 40 to 50 million people," Benny, who is also the secretary of the Setara Institute National Council.

The year 2014 will be a crucial turning point for the Indonesian nation, as electing a leader with integrity and capacity can change the country for better.

In view of that, he claimed that monitoring the 2014 general elections is crucial, especially at the village and sub-district levels.

Other figures who attended the meeting include Mohamad Sobari, Andreas Anagguru Yewangoe, and former KPU (General Elections Commission) member Ramlan Surbakti.

Indonesia plans to hold legislative elections on April 9, which will later be followed by the presidential election on July 9.

(Reporting by Fransiska Ninditya/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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