Regent-elect in NTT is an American citizen: Elections Supervisory Agency

A photo posted in 2018 of Orient Patriot Riwu Kore. Photo: Facebook
A photo posted in 2018 of Orient Patriot Riwu Kore. Photo: Facebook

A regency in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province elected an American citizen for the office’s top seat in last year’s regional elections, the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has confirmed. 

The General Election Commission (KPU) declared Orient Patriot Riwu Kore the winner of the Dec. 9 elections in Sabu Raijua regency on Jan. 23. He and his running mate, Thobias Uly, received 48.3 percent of the votes and defeated the incumbent, who got 30.1 percent. 

However, news of his foreign citizenship came to light this week, as confirmed by Yudi Tagihuma, who heads the Bawaslu office in Sabu Raijua.

“We asked [the US Embassy] whether he is an Indonesian citizen or has become a US citizen, and based on information from them it’s true that Orient is a US Citizen,” Yudi told reporters last night, while sharing the content of the letter from the US Embassy that contained this information. 

Indonesia does not allow for dual citizenship, and at the time of publication KPU has yet to announce any official decision regarding this matter. 

Kirenius Padji, who heads the KPU office in Sabu Raijua, said that Orient provided his KTP (ID card) when signing up as a candidate for the regency seat. In addition, the local Citizenship and Civil Records Agency (Dukcapil) had also confirmed the legitimacy of Orient’s ID in a letter dated Sept. 16, 2020, he added.

Read more news and updates from Eastern Indonesia here.

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