Thousands of Freeport Workers May Not be Able to Vote

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Thousands of Freeport Indonesia workers may not be able to vote this coming election. As it turns out, many of them are not registered with the local General Election Commission (KPU).

    The Mimika Resort Police Chief Papua, Adj. Sr. Comr. Agung Marlianto, said that he had reminded Mimika KPU to register the workers of Freeport and their sub-privatization companies in the Tembagapura mine. 

    "We have talked about this since December 2018," Agung said on Tuesday, March 2.

    According to Agung, Freeport's mines are now concentrated underground, making it very difficult for employees to get a few days off to exercise their voting rights, which is on April 17. The mine continues to run for 1 x 24 hours.

    Read also: Jokowi Recalls Threat when Taking Over Freeport Shares

    Half of the 29,000 Freeport employees in Tembagapura come from various regions outside Papua and have ID cards registered outside of Papua.

    The best solution, Agung said, is for the thousands of unregistered Freeport employees to vote in Tembagapura, and to that end the Mimika KPU must request additional ballots from Jakarta.

    According to KPU Mimika, there are 239,265 voters in 18 districts of Papua. The number of voters in the Tembagapura District area, included Freeport employees and subcontractor companies plus residents, is around 5,000 people.

    However, during the second phase of the Additional Voters List (DPTb) registration, only 245 voters were included in the Tembagapura District area.

    Papua KPU commissioner Tarwinto said that the Mimika KPU had requested workers' data from Freeport and their subcontractor companies. "Until the deadline, Freeport did not provide the data," Tarwinto said in Jayapura a few days ago.

    Tempo contacted Freeport`s spokesman Riza Pratama and requested for comments, but he said he was busy—promising to "call back later".

    ANTARA | EGI ADYATAMA