Saturday, March 21, 2009

Election Cooling Down Period

The open Election Campaign conducted by 38 Political Parties from 16 March to 5 April 2009 will surely create great tensions among them and their supporters, which in the end will have frightening impact on our society in facing the general election on 9 April 2009.

Considering this fact and in compliance with the General Election Law No. 10/2008, after the campaign period ended, there will be a cooling down period from 6 to 8 April, before the voters go to the ballots. During this cooling down period, all political parties and their members are not allowed to do any action which can be considered as campaign. Beside that, according to The Jakarta Globe, the print and broadcast media, are not allowed to run news stories, advertisements, records of the political parties and its members, or other forms of publicity that would benefit or damage the parties.
Moreover, public opinion survey (Poll) are also banned from publishing survey results during the period. Violating that rule carries up to Rp 12 million equivalent to US$ 1,008.00 in fines. An association of survey firms has filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court to annul that article and several other related articles.

As an eligible voter, I can understand that the rule regarding the above cooling down period is intended to calm down the public. However, I think that announcement of Poll Survey during the cooling down period can be acceptable provided that they are conducted by institutions which have high credibility, reliability & good reputation.

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