JAKARTA, Feb 26, 2019, ANTARA News. The Indonesian Government has set a target that this year`s parliamentary and presidential elections, due to be held simultaneously throughout the country on April 17, will be participated in by at least 77.5 percent of the total number of voters, reported the ANTARA.
“The key to success of the upcoming general elections lies in people`s participation rate. This issue really matters in this year`s elections,” Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo told the attendees of the police and military`s coordinated meeting here on Monday.
The 2004 general elections` participation rate was recorded at 84 percent, while the participation rates of the 2009 and 2014 general elections reached 71 and 74 percents, respectively, Kumolo stated.
“The participation rate of this year`s general elections is expected to reach 77.5 percent,” he noted, adding that the Ministry of Home Affairs had prepared strategies to ensure that first-time voters who had not received their electronic identification cards could cast their votes in ballot booths.
However, Kumolo did not elaborate the strategies that his ministry had prepared for ensuring that first-time voters would be able to cast their votes on April 17.
According to the Home Affairs Ministry`s Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration Agency, there are 5,035,887 first-time voters who would be 17 years old on Jan 1, 2018, up to April 17, 2019, he explained.
To make sure that these first-time voters were able to participate in the upcoming elections, the ministry`s officials had make various efforts, including approaching schools, university campuses, and Islamic boarding schools to register them for ID cards.
“We have initiated to help register these first-time voters` ID cards by approaching their schools. We do this as an effort to ensure that their votes will be cast, and the participation rate will be increased,” he remarked.
The efforts to increase the participation rate were also made through strategies such as voter education and media campaigns, as well as proclaiming holiday on voting day, he added.
In connection with the 2019 presidential election, the General Election Commissions (KPU) has prepared five rounds of presidential debates for the pairs of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Ma`ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pairs.
The presidential debates, broadcast live by several television channels, are expected to help some 192 million eligible voters, who will participate in this democratic process, to become well-informed on the two pairs` capacity and capability.
Empowered with sufficient information about the candidates, they will be able to vote rationally. Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election, Indonesia will have a new pair of capable president and vice president.
Reporting by Syaiful Hakim