Asip Hasani, Blitar, East Java – At least 240 Shia adherents in Sidoarjo, East Java, will be able to vote in a shelter, an East Java General Elections Commission (KPU East Java) official confirmed on Tuesday.
KPU East Java head Choirul Anam said his team had set up a polling station specifically for the Shia community in their shelter to accommodate their right to vote.
The initiative follows the Muslim minority's eviction five years ago from Sampang, Madura, East Java, where the majority of the local community demanded that all Shiites be expelled from the area after labeling their belief as heretical.
"We are giving them facilities at a nearby polling station as it is currently impossible for them to vote in their original electorate," Choirul said.
Since the voting will take place in a shelter, Shiites will be able to vote only in the presidential and Regional Legislative Council (DPD) elections, Choirul added.
Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the purpose of his visit to Blitar in the same province was to monitor preparations for the election in the area while correcting a misperception about the allotted voting time for local residents.
"The correct information is that people can still vote after 1 p.m. as long as they are registered at their respective polling stations," said Khofifah. (mai)