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Urban poor activist to enliven Makassar municipal elections

Tribun Timor - Jun 12, 2008

Jumadi, Makassar – The elections for mayor and deputy mayor in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar is heating up. An activist from the South Sulawesi Indonesian Poor People’s Union (SRMI), Wahidah Baharuddin Upa, has declared that she will nominate himself to enliven the Makassar municipal electoral contest.

Baharuddin will step forward as an independent candidate for the position of Makassar municipal deputy mayor. She will team up with Firmansyah Mappasawang who will run as the candidate mayor for Makassar.

Mappasawang is a business contractor and the chairperson of the West Sulawesi chapter of the Indonesian Reform Youth (PRI), an organisational wing of the Reform Star Party (PBR).

This was revealed to Tribun Timor (the Eastern Tribune) on Thursday June 12 by Pice Jahali SH, the coordinator of the Mappasawang-Baharuddin election team. “The pair of candidates plan to submit a dossier of supporting documents to the Polling Committee (PPS) and the Makassar municipal General Elections Commission (KPU) on June 14 this week”, he said.

Jahali, who is also the regional executive director of the Makassar Peoples Legal Aid Foundation (LBHR), claimed that the Mappasawang-Baharuddin duet already has the support of labour, student and urban poor organisations in Makassar.

Among others this includes the South Sulawesi SRMI, the Makassar National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Makassar Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI) and an alliance of trade unions in Makassar city.

Jahali also claimed that when the pair submits the dossier to the KPU they will also hand over supporting documents in the form of some 40,000 photocopied IDs (KTP) and family (KK) identification cards. In accordance with revisions to Law Number 32/2008, it states that independent candidates must be supported by a minimum of 39,000 photocopied KTP and KK (for the Makassar area).

According to Jahali, the two independent candidates will be taking up the theme “Time for Youth to Lead. People and Youth Form a New Makassar Administration”.

Mappasawang is currently 35-years-old while his deputy candidate Baharuddin – a demonstrator who is known as a defender of the urban poor and workers in Makassar – is still 36-years-old.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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