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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  18  May  2016  

Jakarta grants Rp 576 billion for gubernatorial election preparation

The Jakarta administration has granted Rp 576 billion ( US$43.36 million ) to the Jakarta General Elections Commission ( KPUD ) and Elections Supervisory Agency ( Bawaslu ) to carry out preparations ahead of the capital's gubernatorial election scheduled for February.

The city administration granted Rp 478 billion to the KPUD, double 2012's funding of Rp 258 billion, and Rp 98 billion to Bawaslu as stated in a memorandum of understanding ( MoU ) signed by the city administration, Jakarta KPUD and Bawaslu during an event at City Hall on Monday.

The figure aimed to help the two bodies carry out preparations, implementation, promotion and supervision for the elections slated for Feb. 15, 2017.

The increased budget aimed to pay 144,000 field officers and to manage rising voter numbers for next year as predicted by the KPUD, chairman Sumarno said on Monday. Field officers individually verify documents from supporters of independent candidates. The number of officers would increase if needed.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said he expected the money to be used transparently by the KPUD and Bawaslu.

“The most important thing is that everything must be transparent, especially the supervision after the voting. We also invited Bawaslu to use our Jakarta Smart City program for help,” Ahok told journalists after the MoU signing.

As the capital city's election is expected to be in the spotlight, Ahok believed the KPUD would carry out its duties professionally. It would be hard for any party to cheat, he said.

The KPUD will start the process by accepting support for independent candidates from Aug. 3 to 7. The verification process will continue for two weeks afterwards.

Moreover, Sumarno explained that on Sept. 19, the KPUD would open registration for candidates from political parties.

The campaign will kick off on Oct. 4 and will run until three days before the election date, Sumarno said.

Only Ahok and his running mate, civil servant Heru Budi Hartono, have declared their candidacy as independent candidates so far. Political parties have begun to promote potential candidates but no names have been declared yet.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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