On March 11, 2013, Election Access for Persons with Disabilities (PPUA Penca) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the General Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum/KPU) of Indonesia on increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process.

The MoU was signed by Commission Chairman Husni Kamil Manik and PPUA Penca Chairman Ariani Soekanwo. The signing ceremony was attended by representatives of disabled persons’ organizations; KPU Commissioners Hadar Navis Gumay and Ferry Rizki Kurniansyah; Election Supervisory Body (Badan Pengawas Pemilu/BAWASLU) member Endang Widhaningtiyas; and several regional KPU representatives.

KPU is committed to inclusive elections that are accessible and non-discriminatory; ensuring fulfillment of the political rights of persons with disabilities; continuous coordination and consultation with disabled persons’ organizations; and providing information to local election committees to ensure inclusion of all voters.

The next election in Indonesia is scheduled for April 9, 2014. The commission has announced 15 political parties eligible for the 2014 election. Under this memorandum, the commission is expected to increase the participation of persons with disabilities in voting; improve voter education and outreach activities; and ensure assistance at polling stations.

After the signing, Chairman Soekanwo said he hopes this agreement will be a step forward in fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities. “This memorandum is evidence that KPU is committed to eliminate discrimination towards persons with disabilities,” she said.

PPUA Penca is a coalition of national-level disabled persons’ organizations, including: Disability Association of Indonesia, Association of Indonesian Women Disabilities, Indonesian Blind Union, Deaf Indonesia Movement, Federation of Disabled Welfare Body of Indonesia, Down Syndrome Association of Indonesia and others. PPUA Penca focuses on the fulfillment of political rights, especially the right to vote and to be elected.