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KPU delays voting in Paniai after residents burn election materials

Jakarta Post - February 14, 2024

Jakarta (Agencies) – The General Elections Commission (KPU) has delayed voting in four districts of Paniai regency, Central Papua, after incidents in which residents burned balloting materials. KPU commissioner Idham Holik announced the delay to the press on Wednesday.

The four districts affected by the voting postponement are Kebo, with 13 villages; Aweida, with six villages; Muye, with 10 villages; and Yagai, with 10 villages. The delay affects 22,091 voters across 92 polling stations in the districts.

"In this decision, the number and names of districts in the Paniai regency area where the postponement of voting and vote counting was caused by the destruction of logistics during distribution by irresponsible parties in the 2024 general election are determined," said KPU Paniai office head Sisilia Nawipa.

On Monday, images circulated online of residents of Kebo and Yagai opening ballot boxes and either burning the election materials they contained or throwing the materials into a river. KPU commissioner Mochamad Afifuddin confirmed on Tuesday that the incident had occurred.

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius D. Fakhiri said he hoped such burnings would not happen again.

"Of course, I deeply regret the incidents of the burning of government resources and election logistical materials in Paniai that occurred just one day before [the election]," said Mathius. The Central Papua KPU has said the incident was caused by false information suggesting that the C1 vote tallying forms inside the boxes were fake.

"We believe that families in Paniai have been misled by irresponsible hoax information, leading to such actions," said Central Papua KPU chair Jennifer Darling Tabuni on Tuesday. She added that the residents had suspected the C1 forms were fake because they lacked the holographic markings of the forms for the 2014 and 2019 elections. This year's C1 forms employ barcodes rather than holographic markings.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/02/14/kpu-delays-voting-in-paniai-after-residents-burn-election-materials.htm