8 Jul 2004

Indonesian police snare vote-rigging operation in Papua

8:14 am on 8 July 2004

Police in the Indonesia province of Papua say two election officials have been caught rigging thousands of ballots in the country's presidential poll.

They say the men, who are from the city of Timika, punched 3200 ballots from four voting stations in the name of presidential front-runner Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Mimika police chief, Paulus Waterpauw says the men committed the offence after being offered money by Yudhoyono's local campaign manager.

Yudhoyono's popular in Papua after he made a campaign promise not to split up the province, going against the plan of President Megawati Soekarnoputri's government.

Preliminary results show the former general's gained over 70 per cent of the vote in the province, which has 400,000 eligible voters.