Posted by: mel | May 28, 2009

Presidential Race to Kick Off on June 2

Jakarta Globe | Yuki Mariam | 28 May 2009


Megawati Sukarnoputri (Photo: Adi Weda, EPA)

The General Elections Commission has moved up the start of the campaign period for the July 8 presidential election by 11 days to June 2.

I Gusti Putu Artha, a member of the commission (KPU), said on Wednesday that the move was prompted by the candidates’ fulfillment of election requirements earlier than expected.

“The declaration for a peaceful campaign will be held on June 2, 2009, at 9 a.m. at the KPU headquarters,” Putu Artha said. The declaration, he said, marked the start of the campaign, which would end on July 4.

However, he said mass rallies would only be allowed from June 13.

Putu Artha said a closed plenary session of the commission would be held on Friday to finalize the pairs of candidates and an open session would be held the following day to determine the respective campaign numbers.


Jusuf Kalla (Photo: Saptono, Antara)

 He said the commission expected to complete the candidates’  verification process by Wednesday. 

 The candidates will have several opportunities to campaign in each  province, and the commission is set to meet with campaign teams  today regarding the schedule for this, Putu Artha said.

 “This is so there will be no more suspicion that the schedule is being  arranged to suit the president or other sides,” he said.

Accusations of favoritism were raised in late March stemming from the campaign schedule for the legislative elections in April.

The commission has also scheduled the candidate debates, which include three presidential debates and two vice presidential debates, to begin on June 18.

Putu Artha said the commission had submitted potential debate topics to the campaign teams of the candidates, such as clean governance, law enforcement and human rights, food security, the eradication of poverty and unemployment, education, science and technology and religion, health and the environment, and the focus of development over the next five years.

Three pairs of candidates are vying for the nation’s two top posts. Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who also chairs the Golkar Party, is running for the presidency with Gen. (ret.) Wiranto, chairman of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura); President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, of the Democratic Party, is running for re-election with former Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono; and former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who chairs the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), is running with Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto, the founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).


Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Photo: Mast Irham, EPA)


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