Indonesians in Dubai give Widodo clear edge - GulfToday

Indonesians in Dubai give Widodo clear edge


Among the 76 volunteers were 10 men who acted as security personnel. Additional security was from the Dubai Police. John Varughese/Gulf Today

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his running mate for vice president senior Muslim cleric Ma’ruf Amin were the choice of their countrymen in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to govern their nation’s affairs from 2019 to 2024.

Out of 2,914 voters who participated in the one-day April 12 overseas elections (OV), 1,738 (59.6 per cent) opted to re-elect Widodo over his second-time contender former general Prabowo Subianto.

Subianto who initially contested against Widodo during the 2014 presidential elections and running mate former Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno garnered 1,147 votes (39.3 per cent).

Indonesian voters in their home country went to the polls on April 17.

The elections with 187.1 million Indonesians across the world registered as eligible voters, was a landmark event. It was the first time that joint elections were held for the president, vice president and members of Jakarta’s legislative body known as the Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Republik Indonesia (People’s Consultative Assembly).

Civic independent organization Committee of the Indonesian Election Overseas-Dubai and the Northern Emirates member Judhi Prasetyo said 31 (1.1 per cent) of the 2,914 ballots manually read and counted from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon—for the presidential elections—had been considered spoiled ballots.

Consul General Ridwan Hassan, interviewed after the results of the presidential elections were known, appreciated the observed high level community civic duty and volunteerism.

“The community and the volunteers are of various political orientations and even parties. But, they are all together and united for this elections. It not only shows how democracy works but also their political maturity.”

First time volunteer was Election Supervisory Committee member Ira Menichini. The practising lawyer in Indonesia was excited for the turn-out, especially with the huge number of women.

A male volunteer said: “Whoever wins, we respect.”   Prasetyo said: “We are happy that our countrymen participated in these elections.”

He said that out of the 4,805 eligible voters, an addition of 1,200 Indonesians from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujeirah trooped to the Indonesian Consulate General in Al Hudaiba, Dubai on April 12 to register “on the spot” and exercised their right to suffrage.

“Some of the 4,805 were not able to come here (consulate general) on April 12. But, 1,200 registered on-the-spot. We were very busy that day,” said Prasetyo.

Of the 6,005 total number of registered voters, 3,688 were women and 1,008 were men. They are among the 54,000 Indonesians from Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Sixty-six volunteers manually read and counted the ballots on Wednesday. There were accredited official witnesses and poll watchers representing the presidential and vice presidential candidates, as well as some of the 16 contesting political parties for the legislature.

The ballots were from eight polling precincts stationed at the diplomatic mission and two mobile polling precincts during the April 12 OV.

Among the 76 volunteers were 10 men who acted as security personnel. Additional security was from the Dubai Police.

The consul general said the diplomatic mission informed the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as well as local authorities that include the Dubai Police of the April 12 and April 17 events.

Counting for the legislative body members were still ongoing at 3 p.m.

In accordance with the election rules of Jakarta’s General Elections Commission, one copy of the election results signed by all OV official stakeholders would be immediately electronically wired to Jakarta for the aggregate counting of all votes cast from around the world.

The official winners would be announced 35 days after the elections.

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