Merauke, 5/7 (Jubi) – Papuan election commission officials who visited villages in Merauke regency were unable to send the message out about the upcoming elections because villagers worked in forests.
The chairman of the Election Commission of Merauke Regency, Antonius Kaize said officials failed to have a meeting with residents in Kimaam, Tabonjo, Waan and Ilwayab sub-districts on the Kimaam Island because they had been living in camps in forest and swamp areas to make a living.
He blames the situation on government officials who choose to live in the cities and neglect their duties to develop villages and provide job opportunities.
“I would say the villagers will stay in their villages if the sub-district heads and officials were not spending their time in the city. If they were in the office, the villagers wouldn’t go to the forest to make a living,” Kaize told tabloidjubi.com in his office on Wednesday (5/6).
He further said this situation has affected preparations for the April 9 legislative elections because some members of Polling Committees (PPS) are among villagers work in the forest.
The commission is also unable to get residents familiarized with how to vote.
“I hope the Merauke Regent will demand the sub-districts heads and their staffers return to their offices because some of them have not been in their offices for three months,” he said.
Separately, a member of the Merauke Representative Council, Soter Kamiawi, acknowledged that some sub-district heads and their staffers were not in their offices. “It usually happens in several sub-districts on the Kimaam Island,” he said. (Jubi/Frans L Kobun/rom)