Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Golkar's Yorrys challenges Irian Jaya Barat results

Lawyers representing the losing candidate in Irian Jaya Barat's first election of governor have filed suit against the provincial General Elections Commission (KPUD) over what they allege to be voting irregularities. Yorrys Th. Raweyai's lawyers filed the suit at the Jayapura High Court in Papua province on Monday. Irian Jaya barat does not yet vhave its own high court.

Lawyer Radja Simanjuntak claimed the total number of votes recorded in Irian Jaya Barat's eight regencies and a city exceeded the number of official registered voters. He also said Yorrys had received fewer votes than he should have because hundreds of his supporters did not receive voting cards before the 11 March election. Over 78,000 votes were added to ensure the victory of Abraham Octovianus Atururi and his running mate Rahimim Katjong in the election for the new province's governor and deputy governor, Radja alleged. He also claimed more than 26,000 votes for Yorrys were lost.

"There were many people who did not cast their votes at polling stations or who voted before March 11," Radja said. He added that Yorrys' legal team had prepared 17 witnesses to testify in the case.

Yorrys and his supporters hope the courts will either cancel the inauguration of Abraham and swear in Yorrys instead, or call a new election. The provincial council declared Abraham and Katjong the winners of the election during a plenary session March 23. In the official count, Abraham received 183,279 votes and Yorrys 68,609 votes.

"KPUD has authentic and legitimate evidence to support the election result, but if they want to go to court they can. There's a legal process, let the court decide whether (the allegations) are right or wrong," said Irian Jaya Barat KPUD chairwoman Regina Sauyai. - JP

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