Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Indonesian court allows unregistered voters to use identity cards in election

Indonesia's Constitutional Court has made a dramatic last minute ruling to allow millions of unregistered voters to use their identity cards to cast ballots in Wednesday's presidential election.

The decision was reached after candidates Jusuf Kalla and Megawati Sukarnoputri gave an ultimatum to the election body to resolve the irregularities found in the electoral roll.

With less than 48 hours to go before polling, presidential candidates Mr Kalla and Ms Megawati mounted a surprise.

They marched to the election commission, demanding the electoral body fix the alleged irregularities in the electoral roll. They wanted the election postponed if the issue was not resolved.

Some 40 million voters were said to have been left out of the electoral roll. And of the 176 million registered, there is evidence of multiple entries and names of ineligible voters. But the election commission had insisted polling would go on as schedule.

Incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was absent - preferring to leave the issue in the hands of the election commission.

The commission played down fears that allowing the use of identity cards to vote would lead to multiple ballots being cast by the same person.

Abdul Hafiz Anshary, head, Election Commission, said: "But they still can only cast their ballots once. For example, if they have four identity cards, it does not mean they can vote four times. This means inking the finger as proof of voting is vital."

Click here for complete news from the original source of Channel News Asia