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The deaths of over 500 members of polling station working committees across the country and sickness of several thousands of others after fulfilling their electoral duties have not merely brought miseries., Jakarta – Indonesia has held its first simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections on April 17 peacefully but, the aftermath of the election day becomes a season of mourning for so many families who lost their beloved who worked at polling stations.

The deaths of over 500 members of polling station working committees across the country and sickness of several thousands of others after fulfilling their electoral duties have not merely brought miseries but have also left a mystery over the causing factors.

Among the polling station workers who passed away are Neneng Kharisma, a resident of Biringbulu Subdistrict in Gowa District, South Sulawesi Province, and Muriah, a resident of Labuhan Haji Barat Subdistrict in South Aceh District, Aceh Province.

Kharisma who was responsible for Polling Station number 004 in Julukanaya Village was reported by to fall sick by “vomiting blood” on April 18 while doing a vote recapitulation process. This 22-year-old woman then died on May 10.

Muriah, a resident of Peulokan Village in Labuhan Haji Barat Subdistrict, South Aceh District, reportedly died of exhaustion due to the strain of overwork.

Regarding the causes of these polling station workers’ deaths and illnesses, the General Elections Commission (KPU) argued that they were related to exhaustion and traffic accidents amid their hectic work schedules.

The government officials and KPU commissioners call those who died while doing their electoral duties as the heroes and heroines of democracy, and each of their heirs is then provided by the government with a compensation payment of Rp36 million.

The payment of compensation for the heirs of the dead polling station workers is appreciated but various elements in the society demand for a credible answer to the causes of their deaths.

Political analyst Rocky Gerung opined that the death toll of those working at the polling stations has been similar to the total number of passengers of a jumbo jet.

Therefore, when speaking at TV One news channel’s talkshow program on May 7, he bluntly supported an endeavor of Ani Hasibuan, a medical doctor who voluntarily conducted a research project on the causes of the polling station workers’ deaths.

In addition to individuals, like dr.Ani Hasibuan, several reputable institutions have also shown their willingness to conduct thorough and comprehensive studies on the reasons for the deaths of those polling station staff.

Among them are Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM), National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), and Jakarta-based Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C).

On May 5, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) has hinted that it would conduct an interdisciplinary research project to reveal the factors that led to the deaths and illnesses of the polling station working committee members.

According to Abdul Ghaffar, coordinator of the UGM’s Working Research Group on General Elections, the research project involving scientists from Medical School, as well as Faculties of Public Health, Psychology, and Social and Political Sciences, would be conducted for several weeks.

In connection with this interdisciplinary research project, Dean of UGM’s Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Erwan Agus Purwanto said his university’s team members would collaborate with their colleagues from 10 other universities.

Among the public universities that would also be involved in this research project are the University of Indonesia, Lampung University, Airlangga University, and Cendrawasih University.

​​​MER-C has also set up a team for mitigating the 2019 General Elections’ health disaster to respond to the cases of dead and sick members of the polling station working committee across the country.

This medical non-governmental organization’s presidium chairman, dr.Sarbini Abdul Murad, said the humanity and mitigation measures that MER-C team members would take were not only directed to the sick polling station workers but also to the dead ones.

Thus, the MER-C team would possibly conduct autopsies on deceased workers of the polling stations to find out the real causes of their deaths, he said, adding that the human rights commission was also expected to have a common concern on this issue.

The deaths of over 500 members of polling station working committees across Indonesia have encouraged MER-C and Komnas HAM to explore potential cooperation on issues of humanity.

“We discussed various domestic and international issues of humanity,” Sarbini Abdul Murad said in connection with the meeting of MER-C with the human rights commission at its headquarters on Friday (May 10).

The MER-C team members are keen to help the people at large have certain information on the deaths and illnesses of the polling station workers by finding out their causes, and taking appropriate measures and solutions to prevent similar miseries from recurring in future general elections.

In connection with this issue, Komnas HAM Chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik said he has also set up an elections supervisory team to find out the causes of the polling station workers’ deaths.

To this end, the human rights commission’s team had held a coordinating meeting with the representatives of the University of Indonesia (UI) Medical Faculty and Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI).

However, Komnas HAM would be happy to extend its cooperation with other credible parties, including MER-C, because the fact finding results would have been publicly announced prior to the KPU’s official announcement on manual vote recapitulations on May 22.

Such reputable institutions as UGM, UI, IDI, Komnas HAM, and MER-C as well as professional doctors have shown their concrete efforts to uncover the causes of deaths and illnesses of those who have sacrificed for a fair convening of Indonesia’s general elections. (rah)





Presidential Candidate for 2019, Prabowo Subianto and 2019 Vice President Candidate, Sandiaga Uno at a press conference at Jalan Kertanegara, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, Wednesday (05/22/2019)., Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto’s brother, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, has been appointed to represent the Prabowo-Sandi pair in filing a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court (MK) to challenge presidential election results.

“Mr. Hashim Djojohadikusumo has been appointed to lead our team of lawyers. Tomorrow, prior to the deadline, a team of lawyers will file a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court,” Vice Presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno said here on Thursday (23/5/2019).

Speaking at the residence of Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto on Kertanegara IV Street, Uno said filing the lawsuit at MK was a measure that the Prabowo-Sandi pair will take to ensure that they remain on the constitutional road.

On Friday, the Prabowo-Sandi pair will announce its team of lawyers who will represent them at the Constitutional Court, he said, adding that senior lawyer Otto Hasibuan’s role in the team would also be disclosed on Friday.

Coordinator of the Prabowo-Sandi camp’s Spokesperson Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak said earlier that his group’s team of lawyers would comprise Rikrik Rizkian, Bambang Widjojanto, Irman Putra Sidin, and Denny Indrayana.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) has announced the final results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections, detailing the victory of the Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Ma’ruf Amin pair on early Tuesday.

The final tally that the KPU announced at around 1:28 a.m. indicated that the Jokowi- Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno’s with 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair rejected the KPU’s official results and vowed to challenge it by filing an official complaint with the Constitutional Court (MK).

This unfinished political process sparked a mass protest from the Prabowo-Sandi pair’s supporters, who alleged massive fraud during the presidential elections.

The police allowed demonstrators to stage a rally until they finished performing Tarawih, the evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. As told by National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, peaceful demonstrators left the Bawaslu building area at around 9 p.m. local time.

However, according to Prasetyo, two hours later, some 100 people again gathered in front of the Bawaslu building and destroyed the barbed-wired barricades. Instead of leaving the scene, they attacked the police by throwing stones, wood, and Molotov cocktails at them.

Tensions rose and led to a riot in the Tanah Abang area of Central Jakarta from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday (22/5/2019).

The post-election riot has claimed eight lives and injured 541 rioters, as of Thursday at 11.00 a.m., Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said. (sya)

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Inspector General Muhammad Iqbal, of the National Police., Jakarta – The Indonesian Police will set up a team to investigate the deaths of seven demonstrators during the post-election protest held in a number of areas in Jakarta on May 21-22, 2019.

“The number of dead victims is seven. This is based on reports that we have received, while nine police officers suffered injuries,” Inspector General Muhammad Iqbal, spokesman of the National Police, said here on Thursday (23/5/2019).

Chief of the Indonesian Police, General Tito Karnavian, has appointed Commissioner General Moechgiyarto, inspector of the Police General Supervision, to lead the investigation team.

The team will work to determine the cause of the deaths and investigate all aspects of the clashes with demonstrators.

He said police officers did not bring live bullets when securing the protest, but were armed with shields, batons, and helmets. They were also supported by water cannons and tear gas.

The Police procedure in dealing with demonstrators prioritizes persuasion, human approaches and displaying police symbols, he said.

He noted that the Police response is always proportional between how large a threat is and the strength of the police forces in dealing with a large demonstration.

Meanwhile, Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan said on Thursday that the death count of demonstrators climbed to eight, while 737 were injured.

Also, some 300 people were arrested by Police during the two-days of clashes. (shk)

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Secretary General of the Muhammadiyah Central Leadership, Abdul Mu'ti., Jakarta – The disturbances which took place in several areas in Jakarta should be investigated, the Muhammadiyah Central Leadership has said.

“The riots must be thoroughly investigated and resolved through legal channels,” Secretary General of the Muhammadiyah Central Leadership Abdul Mu’ti said in Jakarta on Thursday (23/5/2019).

He remarked that the chaos had tarnished the nation’s democracy, which is based on wisdom. He noted that the perpetrators were anarchists who seek to damage the life of the nation and state.

Abdul Mu’ti praised the attitudes of presidential and vice presidential candidates who competed in a healthy manner and resolved election problems using constitutional methods.

The presidential candidates conveyed positive statements in the face of the national political situation.

“All parties should promote practices of statesmanship. As a result, the entire democratic process runs well,” Abdul Mu’ti stated.

In addition, he said, the Constitutional Court (MK), when handling complaints, should reflect the nation’s aspirations and carry out its functions fairly, objectively, professionally, and independently.

The MK should take note of violations and frauds that have strong evidence, in a bid to meet the demands of justice.

The Constitutional Court’s decision must be respected and all parties must end the political process of the 2019 Election in a constitutional manner, he said.

Abdul Mu’ti also stated that all parties should re-unite to develop Indonesia.

Chairperson of the Muhammadiyah Central Leadership Haedar Nashir earlier insisted that presidential candidate number 01 Joko Widodo (Jokowi) meet with presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo at the earliest to put an end to tensions arising after the vote count by the General Election Commission (KPU).

“The Muhammadiyah central executive board has, since the start, along with Islamic organizations, met with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and have put forth an appeal and invitation that Jokowi and Prabowo meet,” Nashir remarked.

Based upon the statements of Jokowi and Prabowo, Nashir believes that the duo are attempting to establish a friendship.

“It might be a matter of time. Yesterday, we heard President Jokowi conveying a positive statement and an invitation to end the tensions in this situation. Moreover, Prabowo and Sandi also said that all should follow the constitutional path, and there should be no violence and all should remain peaceful,” Nashir noted. (ant)

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