Three weeks before campaigning for the Jakarta gubernatorial election gets under way, poll officials have met with the media to emphasize the rules of campaigning. The Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) of Jakarta again called on media outlets to refrain from conducting a quick count before voting ended in the upcoming gubernatorial election. “Quick count surveys are not allowed while votes are cast between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.,” the head of Panwaslu’s Jakarta office, Ramdansyah, said on Saturday. He said a quick count survey conducted before polling booths closed would violate rules set out by Jakarta’s General Elections Commission (KPUD).
The ban on quick counts comes after critics claimed that exit polling carried out in elections in other regions resulted in voters being misled. “People can see who the front-runners are and could be influenced to vote for them,” Ramdansyah said. Officials also called on media outlets to give equal coverage to all candidates in the run up to the July 11 poll. KPU official Jamaluddin F. Hasyim said at the same briefing on Saturday that the printing and broadcasting of campaign-related content had to follow legal guidelines.
Jamal highlighted the fact that some media outlets favored certain candidates because they bought more ad space or because of similar ideological values. Radio stations are required to allow each candidate 10 60-second spots per day, while television broadcasters should allow each candidate 10 30-second spots. “The prices charged to each candidate should also be fair,” Jamal said. “No candidate should be charged a different rate [from another].”