Activists Threaten Govt with Lawsuit

JAKARTA ~ Activists threatened this week to take the government and electoral commission to court over incomplete voter lists that disenfranchised millions in general elections last week.

The central government and General Elections Commission (KPU) should organize a rerun of the April 9 vote for scores of millions allegedly left off the voter rolls or face a civil suit, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation head Patra Zen said.

“There should be more legislative voting for those who were not registered. About 45 million eligible voters were not registered on the final voter list for Thursday’s election,” Zen said.

He said the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is seeking reelection in a July presidential vote, was responsible for overseeing chaotic poll preparations that saw voter lists filled with the names of dead people.

Yudhoyono separately told reporters he had ordered the governors of Indonesia’s 33 provinces to investigate reports of incomplete voter lists.

“We all know that the emerging problem is the final voters list, so this problem needs to have the right solution,” he said.

Security and law minister Widodo Adisucipto said it was impossible for the government to have interfered or intervened with the KPU’s work.

“I want to convey that in the context of the election, the KPU is a legal body that is national, permanent and independent in carrying out free general elections,” he said.

The poll was denounced as being marred by “fraud and administrative errors” on Tuesday by a group of top political leaders including former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is considered Yudhoyono’s main rival in the July presidential vote.

Unofficial early counts show Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party as the winner of the election, nearly tripling its vote at the last poll in 2004 to 20.48 percent.

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