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Police & Military to Guarantee Peace During Bali's Elections

7,000 Plus Uniformed Officers to Stand By at Polling Places and Political 'Hot Spots' in Weeks Leading Up to April 9th Polls.

(3/14/2009) BeritaBali.com and Kompas.com report that 7,477 police and hundreds of military personnel will be deployed across Bali to safeguard the legislative election process leading up to polling on April 9, 2009.

The heavy deployment of uniformed forces was confirmed by the Vice-Chief of the Bali Police, Brigadier General Ketut Adria. Adria said that security forces would be deployed at polling stations across Bali and at key locations during the 14 day campaign period immediately prior to election day.

The original 21 day campaign period in Bali was shortened to just 14 days to avoid date conflicts with traditional religious celebrations on the Bali Hindu religious calendar.

On Election Day a total of 8.170 polling places will be in operation across the island of Bali. In anticipation of possible claims of voter fraud, physical conflict among competing parties and damaged ballots - the Bali Election Commission is seeking government assistance and funding support to guarantee a peaceful election and volunteers to work at polling places. To date, 8,000 volunteers have been recruited to help maintain an impartial election process and assist the 907 election officials who will be on duty at the official polling places.

According to Kompas.com, the areas of Tabanan, Karangasem and Bangli have been identified as "hot spots" of potential conflict and voter intimidation.

Over the past 6 months a total of 1,890 violations of election protocol violations have been reported to Bali's Election Commission resulting in 18 criminal cases handled before the courts.