Monday, March 17, 2014


  Jakarta, March 17, 2014 (Antara)- A number of prominent politicians including Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and Prabowo Subianto led campaign activities to support their respective parties' legislative candidates on Monday, the second day of the campaign period.
        The official pre-election campaign period is between March 16 and April 5, which will be followed by the legislative elections on April 9. A total of 12 political parties kicked off the 21-day nationwide campaign on Sunday to win the votes of 185.8 million voters.

         In Jakarta, on Saturday, the leaders of the 12 political parties, fielding candidates in the 2014 legislative elections, declared their commitment to maintaining the security and integrity of the campaigns.
         The national parties consist of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP), the Golkar Party (Golkar), and the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra).
         The line-up also includes the Democratic Party (Demokrat), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP), the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), the Crescent Star Party (PBB) and the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI).
        This year, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has decided that 15 political parties in Indonesia are eligible to participate in the elections.  The three other parties are local parties for Aceh Province - the Aceh Party (PA), the Aceh People's Party (PRA), and the Aceh Sovereignty Party (PDA).
         On the second day of the campaign period, the activities in general went on smoothly and peacefully throughout the country. There were hardly reports of conflicts or incidents during the campaigns.
         However, several violations occurred such as involving children and using the government's cars during the campaign events. The violations will be reported to the General Election Commission (KPU) and the General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu).
         In Bantul, Yogyakarta, Yudhoyono, the current president, who is on a leave, delivered a 20-minute oration during the Democratic Party's campaign event.
         "I ask you to vote for Democratic Party at number seven to keep moving forward, instead of backward, for another five years ahead," Yudhoyono said.
         Yudhoyono, who came to Bantul with his wife Ani Yudhoyono and son Edhie Baskoro, also asked his supporters to stay with Democratic Party in order to ensure the progress and continuity of the people-oriented program initiated during the two periods of his governance.
          The founder and chairman of the Democratic Party claimed that his party was doing real action, instead of making empty promises. He also expressed his optimism that his party could become a strong and modern party that could protect the nation.
          The Bantul event was Yudhoyono's first campaign event after he cancelled his participation in his party's campaigns in Magelang, Central Java, on Sunday (March 16) due to his presidential work of leading the haze disaster mitigation efforts in Riau.
          Chief Patron of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party Prabowo Subianto conducted pre-election campaign in Tabanan, Bali, Monday, where he told his cadres to accept the money if they were being offered by other parties' politicians, but they should stay loyal to Gerindra and vote for the party's candidates.
         On the first day of the campaign period, Prabowo, the presidential candidate from Gerindra, conducted the campaign in Sragen, Central Java, which was attended by tens of thousands of Gerindra cadres and sympathizers.
          In his political oration, Prabowo pointed out that April 9 will be the day of the people's sovereignty, when all voters, rich and poor,  will have the same rights at the polling stations.
          Therefore he added that it's important not to make any mistake during voting because once they make a mistake, they, along with their children, will pay for it for the next five years.
          Golkar Chairman Aburizal Bakrie and Secretary General Idrus Marham were in Lampung, Sumatra, for campaigning on Monday, while Siti Hardiyanti, popularly known as Mbak Tutut, and the party's senior politician Akbar Tanjung joined Golkar campaign activities in Yogyakarta.
           "I just want to help Golkar, but I don't want to be involved in the politics. I wan to support Golkar because this party was once nurtured by my father," Mbak Tutut, the eldest daughter of Indonesia's second president, Soeharto, explained.
          Mbak Tutut said that she did not want to be a politician because she wanted to live peacefully, and hoped that the campaigning period will run smoothly. She added that the political parties should concentrate on improving people's welfare rather than fighting against each other.
          Chief patron of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Megawati Soekarnoputri, the country's fifth president, when campaigning in Surabaya, East Java Province, on Monday said: "I have delivered what the people want. I have decided to name Jokowi as a presidential candidate."
    She was accompanied by PDIP Secretary General Tjahjo Kumolo on the occasion. Jokowi or Joko Widodo, the current governor of Jakarta and PDIP's cadre, was not present in the Surabaya campaign because he did not ask for an official leave.
             The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) is hiring two special planes during the 2014 legislative election campaign period, according to PDIP Deputy Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto.
          One of the plane is Boeing 737-800 which has 58 seats consisting of 16 business-class seats and 42 economic-class seats, while the other is a small-bodied plane with semi-jet machine.
       Surya Palo, the founder and chairman of the National Democratic Party (NasDem), was also in East Java on Monday for a pilgrimage to the tomb of former President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid in Jombang, and the tomb of Gus Dur's grandfather, KH Hasyim Asy'ari at Tebu Ireng Islamic boarding school.  After visiting the tombs, Surya Palo led campaign activities at Tembelang Square in Jombang.
       NasDem, a new party, has also made three jet airplanes ready during the 21-day legislative campaign, to take the party's leaders to 34 provinces and 77 electorate districts (dapil) throughout the country.
        "We have made three planes ready for campaign activities. This proves that NasDem is serious and ready to become the winner in the upcoming elections," NasDem's Secretary General, Patrice Rio Capella, said.
        "We have made good preparations, because this is the first campaign event for the party having the sequential number of one (1)," he added.
        In Jakarta, around one thousand cadres and sympathizers of the National Awakening Party (PKB) attended a campaign gathering of the party founded by several prominent figures of the country's largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
         The second-day campaign was also marked by an announcement that famous musician Ahmad Dhani has become an official campaigner of PKB.
"I could not say `no' when PKB asked me to join,"  Ahmad Dhani said at the presence of PKB Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar.
        In Batam, Riau Islands Province, on Monday, Chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Hatta Radjasa headed the party's campaign activities.    
    On the occasion he said that his party had filed a lawsuit with the General Elections Commission against its decision to disqualify the party from the legislative election in the Palalawan district, Riau province.
           The KPU had disqualified PAN from the April 9 polls in the district because it failed to report its campaign funds on schedule.  PAN had objected to the disqualification, arguing it was late to report its campaign funds due to an unexpected happening.
            "This is force majeure. Our officer in charge of reporting campaign funds had an accident," he said, adding that the KPU should give PAN more time because the delay was not deliberate.
        Previously, the central KPU in Jakarta announced it had disqualified nine political parties at the district/municipal level and 35 candidates of the Regional Representative Council from the elections for failing to submit a preliminary report on campaign funds on schedule.
          Central KPU Commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay said, in the weekend, the decision to disqualify them from the election complied with Law No. 8/2012 on legislative election.
        Meanwhile,  the home ministry announced that it had received applications from 23 governors and 11 vice governors to take leave during campaign period.
         During the 2014 election campaign period, governors were allowed to hold campaigns for a maximum of two working days by securing a permit from the home minister, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Monday.
        The officials could also campaign on holidays  by reporting their activities to the ministry, the minister said.  If they violated the rule, they would receive sanctions from the election supervisory body (Bawaslu),  he said. ***1***
       (T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/A/A. Abdussalam) 17-03-2014

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