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Bali Elections Largely Without Incident

Little Drama As 2.6 Million Bali Voters Go to the Polls.

(4/13/2009) Peace prevailed during Bali's legislative elections held on Thursday, April 9, 2009, with only minor incidents reported as Bali residents went to the polls to choose from a confusing array of candidates and political parties.

A Bali police spokesman, Gde Sugianyar, said that "through the end of the voting process, everything went smoothly, without any significant event that stands out."

The Provincial Chief of Police for Bali, Inspector General Ashikin Husein echoed these sentiments, saying, "the results in the field are that everything went smoothly and safely."

In Bali a total of 2,666,419 registered voters were given the opportunity to vote at 8,170 polling places.

Nationwide 5,065 candidates contesting 339 seats in regional, municipal, provincial and the national house of representative. In other word, 4,666 legislative candidates were certain to be disappointed with their failure to secure public office.

Unrest in Buleleng

The Bali election was tarnished slightly by an altercation between two voters in the village of Melaka in the sub-district of Sukasada. That incident is tied to a domestic dispute between two men standing in line to vote in which one of the men attacked the other with a knife, accusing his victim of having an extra-marital affair with his wife.

Losing Badly?

In a separate incident, a 45-year-old female candidate from North Bali collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack after being told via telephone that she had failed to secure sufficient votes from her community to sit on the local legislature.

Putu Lilik Heliawati, a single mother of two, died shortly after arriving at the emergency room of the Seririt General Hospital.

Bali's Governor Votes for the First Time

Also going to the polls on election day was Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika.

Barred by laws from participating in politics and elections throughout his long career as a police officer, the latest elections offered the now civilian Pastika his first chance to exercise his democratic right to choose.

Newly pensioned from the police last July, Pastika was apparently unable to vote for himself in last year's gubernatorial race.