Jayawijaya Residents Threaten to Boycott Election, Occupy KPU Papua Office
Jayapura, 4/2 (Jubi) – Residents in Jayawijaya Regency have threatened to boycott the upcoming elections and occupy the office of the General Election Commission (KPU) in Papua Province unless their demand for the replacement of three Regional Election Commission (KPUD) members in Jayawijaya Regency is met, a councillor said.
The Chairman of Commission A of People’s Representative Council in Jayawijaya Regency, Amos Kenelak, said the residents voiced their demand during a protest at the local House of Representatives on Monday (3/2).
“We received thousands of people from 332 villages and 40 sub-districts in Jayawijaya yesterday. They demanded that KPU Papua replace three members of KPUD Jayawijaya who passed the selection process because, out of five selected members — one of which is a woman — there is only one Baliem native,” Kanelak said after a meeting with the Chairman of Papuan People’s Representative Council on Tuesday (4/5).
He said the protestors wanted the three members to be replaced by Baliem natives.
They are not opposed to the female member, despite not being a Baliem native, because no Jayawijaya women took part in the last test, the councillor said.
He added that in the spirit of Special Autonomy, the residents are demanding their rights to representation because even though four Jayawijaya natives made it to the top ten, only one was picked to be a KPUD member.
Antor Matuan, the chairman of the Sub-district Heads Association of Jayawijaya District, confirmed the threat to boycott and occupy the provincial KPU.
“Unless the provincial KPU reviews the appointments, Jayawijaya residents will boycott the elections, both legislative and presidential elections. Since yesterday, people have blocked the KPUD Jayawijaya office. Today we will meet the KPU Papua but currently they are in Jakarta,” he said.
“People do not accept the decision by KPU Papua. Jayawijaya is the parent of eight districts resulting from adminstrative divisions in the Highlands area and it is not because there are not capable people” he said.
He he said the KPUD selection results were a slap in the face of Jayawijaya people and that he would not leave until this issue was resolved.
“We do not want any social conflict. If the KPU Papua remains defiant, we will boycott the elections and occupy the KPU Papua Office. Currently they are not yet sworn-in, so that changes are still possible,” he said. (Jubi/Arjuna/rom)