North Sumatra Election

LSI Says Syamsul-Gatot Win North Sumatra Election
Thursday, 17 April, 2008 | 18:17 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Medan: According to a quick count by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), candidates Syamsul Arifin and Gatot Pujo Nugroho have won the North Sumatra governor and deputy governor election for the 2008-2013 period.

They obtained 28 percent of 99.71 percent of .total votes cast.

Syamsul Arifin and Gatot are supported by a coalition of eleven parties, including the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the United Development Party (PPP), the Crescent Star Party (PBB), and the Pancasila Patriotic Party.

“This is the smallest wining margin in provincial leaders’ election history,” LSI executive director Denny JA told Tempo.

“Some 72 percent of voters did not vote for these candidates.”

According to Denny, the winning candidates should be supported by more than 30 percent of voters.

Because of this, “The Syamsul-Gatot win is politically weak.”

According to LSI, the candidates ranked Syamsul-Gatot; Triamtomo-Benny Pasaribu; Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe-Raden Syafii; Robert Edison Siahaan-Suherdi; and Ali Umri-Maratua Simanjuntak.

The supporters of Syamsul-Gatot are happy with the LSI survey report.

“This is a fair and honest election,” said Syamsul before praying together with community members at a mosque in Medan.

Robert Edison Siahaan said he was disappointed in the low community participation in North Sumatra.

He questioned whether his base of supporters on the West Coast had received their voter cards or not.

“I lost a lot of votes,” said Siahaan, who is also the Mayor of the city of Pematang Siantar.

Samsul Sianturi, candidacy coordinator for Tritamtomo and Benny Pasaribu from Balige, said that a lot of people could not vote as they did not have voter cards.

Because of this, he suggested people ask the regional General Elections Commission (KPUD) in Toba Samosir to allow them to vote today.

“With only having to present their ID cards,” he said yesterday (16/4).

This suggestion was however rejected by Irham Buana Nasution, head of the provincial KPU of North Sumatra.

According to him, only people registered as voters can vote in the election and registration was open until the end of December 2007.

“There is no reason for people to claim voting rights if they do not register as voters,” said Irham.


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