2011 Mission Report: West Papua Local Election
August 1st, 2011
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After being delayed three times, local elections in West Papua were finally pushed through in July 2011. The delays were partially a result of disputes and maneuvers by elites within the MRP, DPRPB and KPUPB regarding the authorization to execute the elections. The Gubernatorial election was conducted in a total of nine regencies across the province on July 20, 2011. Unfortunately, elections were not held in some areas within those nine regencies. For example, the election for the head of regency (Bupati and Deputy of Bupati) in Kab. Maybrat was eventually postponed thanks to violence that occurred in the area. A bloody attack by supporters of a Bupati candidate Agustinus Saa against members of the election commission in Kumurkek district on July 4th, 2011 wounded three commissioners. The attack left one commissioner in critical condition with the other two able to continue their commissioner duties while being treated for their injuries. The KPUD office was transferred to a neighboring regency after the assault while an extra police brigade was deployed to the area to maintain order before, during, and after the July 20th polls.