Jayapura, 31/3 (Jubi) – The involvement of hundreds of school children during the Democrat Party’s campaigning in Jayapura on Saturday (29/3) has prompted accusations of campaign violations.
Tabloidjubi.com found that the elementary school children who participated in the campaign rally wearing their school pants and t-shirts bearing the picture of a local legislative candidate were from from the same class.
Joshua, a pupil at elementary school SD Inpres Perumnas II, Waena, Jayapura, said that he joined the rally because he was invited by a friend.
“Yes we all are from one class ( fifth grade) and this is my friend whose father is a candidate,” he said, pointing to the picture on his t-shirt.
“Yes, we were promised some cash,” said Joshua who was with his friends Raja, Brian, Rizky and Julio at the PTC cafetaria on Saturday (29/3).
When asked if there any teachers joined the campaign, the boys immediately pointed at their teacher who was wearing a purple t-shirt nearby.
“She is over there Her name is Deby. She comes with her husband,” Julio said.
Deby denied she was the one who took the kids to the campaign.
“Well, that’s their business. I am here for eating and bumped into them,” she said.
Previously she acknowledged that she was the kids’ teacher, but when she was asked again, she denied it.
“They are neighbors of the kid’s father. They are from different grade. Not all of them are from fifth grade from my school, “ she confirmed.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of Papua Election Supervisory Body ( Bawaslu), Anugerah Patah asserted that if the information is correct then there would be sanctions by the Election Supervisory Body against the Democratic Party.
“If the allegations of child involvement is true and it’s proven that money was given after the campaign then it could be subject to a criminal investigation,” Patah said by phone on Sunday (30/3).
He said that on Saturday during the PAN’s campaign at Trikora sqare, Abepura, he saw kids wearing candidates’ t-shirts.
“I have those picture when the kids are wearing party’s t-shirts. Mostly campaigns in the regencies, involved a lot of children,” he added.
These cases must be investigated and can not be ignored, he said.
The head of Education and Teaching in Jayapura city, Robert Betaubun, could not be reached for comment. (Jubi / Indrayadi TH/ Tina)