Don’t let Papuans become victims of democracy: Police

Bitter rivalry during this year’s simultaneous elections, including in Papua, have forced the Papua Police to partner with the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Inter-Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) to campaign for peaceful elections ahead of the Papua gubernatorial election in 2018.

With some election-related violence leading to fatalities, the Papua Police want all stakeholders to help maintain peace and calm before, during and after the elections.

“There should be no more Papuan victims of democracy. There should be togetherness to build a conducive situation in coping with people activities, especially regional head elections in 2018, during which there will be a Papua gubernatorial election as well,” said Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar during a discussion on public order and security with religious leaders in Jayapura on Friday.

The police chief further explained that 11 regencies and municipalities in Papua held simultaneous elections this year. Five mayors and regents elected in the elections have been sworn in, but elected leaders have yet to be inaugurated in six other regencies. A re-vote was held in Jayapura regency on Wednesday.

Jayapura regency is one of five regencies instructed by the Constitutional Court to hold re-votes. The four others are Intan Jaya, Puncak Jaya, Tolikara and Yapen. In Puncak Jaya, a brawl between candidate supporters erupted shortly after voting took place on Feb.15. In Intan Jaya, brawls broke out between candidate supporters, during which five died and dozens were injured.

“Democracy should not cost lives,” said Boy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *