TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Makassar Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) blasted police`s decision to prevent journalists from reporting the vote recapitulation by the Makassar General Election Commission (KPU). Makassar election is currently under the spotlight after the region’s only candidate lost to an empty ballot box.
“We protest against police’s decision to forbid journalists from reporting the vote recapitulation of the Makassar election,” said AJI Makassar Chairman Qodriansyah Agam Sofyan today, June 30.
At the time of the incident, journalists that were beginning to enter the region’s District Office were surprised to see that the public plenary meeting was heavily guarded by fully-armed Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members.
Qodriansyah stated that journalists were asked to show their ID cards. However, after showing the ID, police did not let any of the journalists in. Police members that guarded the meeting said that it was the order of the KPU Makassar.
Furthermore, Qodriansyah said that journalists were at the location to confirm the information that has spread virally across social media where the votes in three districts differed from the results displayed on KPU Makassar official website.
One example is the voting station (TPS) in Tamalate District which saw 138 people voting for the blank ballot box while the lone candidate Munafri-Andi only gained 94 votes.
“However, based on the image that spread, candidate Munafri-Andi received 238 votes and only one person preferred the empty ballot box,” said Qodriansyah. “This is why we would like to verify the information,” he further explained.
Lastly, Qodriansyah said that police have potentially violated Law No. 40/1999 since the plenary meeting by Makassar KPU was a public meeting.