Asylum Patients Face Obstacles in 2019 General Elections

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Illustration of Mental Health Hospital. TEMPO/ Subekti

    Illustration of Mental Health Hospital. TEMPO/ Subekti

    pTEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The president director of Soeharto Heerdjan mental asylum, Laurentius Panggabean, said psychiatric patients were encountering a number of obstacles that would keep them from casting their votes in the 2019 general elections on March 17.

    Laurentius said patients at Grogol asylum were usually without the necessary administrative requirements to change their polling stations or the A5 forms.

    “They never planned to move. So even though we gave them their right to vote, would they be accepted in this [electoral district]? Is there a guarantee for any citizen to vote at any place?” Laurentius asked on Thursday. 

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    Apart from electoral districts, the patients also lack ID cards or E-KTP, an administrative requirement their families tend to overlook. 

    “It’s already fortunate enough when they get visits,” said Laurentius.

    At the moment, the Soeharto Heerdjan hospital accommodates 216 patients. However, not all of them are allowed a release on the voting day of April 17 as some of them are considered a risk to the public or themselves. 

    LANI DIANA WIJAYA