Same-Day Polls to Cost Rp59bn

DENPASAR ~ The Regional Election Commission has confirmed that simultaneous elections will take place next year to elect the leaders and deputy leaders of five districts of Bali at a cost of around Rp59 billion (US$5.9 million).

Commission chairman Ketut Sukawati said on Tuesday that preparations and budgeting were in hand for the May 4 elections for the regents and vice regents of Badung, Tabanan, Bangli and Karangasem and for the mayor and deputy mayor of Denpasar.

Sukawati said the commission was in the process of proposing the budget to the legislature. The commission had not yet identified any funding problem, but any shortfall would be met by the five districts.

District budgets would vary according to the number of voters, villages and polling stations, he said.

Election commission member Udi Prayudi said individual budgets would range from approximately Rp8 billion ($800,000) for Bangli to around Rp13 billion ($1.3 million) for Badung.

Budgets would allow for a second round of voting, necessary when a leading candidate does not achieve more than 50 percent of the vote.

Prayudi earlier said simultaneous polls would prevent double voting, detected in previous elections.

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