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'Eruption won’t disrupt Indonesian election'

Publication Date : 17-02-2014


Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) has given assurances that the eruption of East Java’s Mount Kelud will not hamper the distribution of logistical materials for the general election.

The KPU said on Sunday that the ballot paper-printing process had returned to normal soon after the eruption, the aftermath of which paralysed Java on Friday.

“I have checked on the companies printing the ballot papers in East and Central Java and the reports that I received said the printing process returned to normal after the eruption. With this, we can say that — God willing — the election will go as planned,” KPU logistics bureau head Boradi told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Boradi said that there was only one company, in Klaten regency in Central Java, which experienced a printing stoppage for several hours after ash started to fall from the sky.

“It stopped for a couple of hours because workers had to clean up the machine that was covered in ash. Some workers were prevented from going to work because of the ash, so they came a little late to the factory on Friday. As of Saturday, all printing companies operated normally including the ones in East Java,” Boradi added.

Separately, a commissioner of the Yogyakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD) also affirmed that logistical election preparations in the province would not be affected by the Mt. Kelud eruption.

“The printing of ballot papers in Solo and Semarang, both in Central Java, will go on as scheduled. The printing of other logistical materials went on normally after the eruption,” KPUD commissioner Farid Bambang Siswantoro said on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He also said the thoroughfares of Semarang and Yogyakarta suffered little impact from the eruption and that distribution of the ballot papers would not face any significant obstructions.

“We hope that the printing process will proceed smoothly, so that we can soon distribute the ballot papers to regions, to be sorted out by KPUDs. We are always ready to implement our contingency plan if anything happens,” he said.

Farid said that none of the warehouses storing logistical materials for the election were affected by the ash spewed out by Mt. Kelud.

The Yogyakarta KPUD was also in the process of manufacturing 3,812 ballot boxes to be used in the upcoming legislative and presidential elections.

“The process is still ongoing but we have already produced around 25 percent of the total boxes needed for Yogyakarta,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local election commission in Kediri, East Java, said that it had received shipments of ballot papers for the legislative election and other logistical materials including ink.

Fears arose that the eruption’s aftermath might disrupt the election process after news reports said that ash from Mt. Kelud covered multiple regions of Central and East Java, where many companies printing election ballot papers are located, accounting for the production of logistical materials for 22 of the country’s 33 provinces and 55 of the total 77 electoral districts.


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