TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Regional Representatives Council’s (DPD’s) Committee I reiterated its rejection to the simultaneous regional head elections scheduled for December 9, 2020, on grounds that new COVID-19 clusters would arise as a consequence.
The committee urged the government to put the elections on hold.
Chief of Committee I of DPD Fachrul Razi on Saturday described as "irrational" the elections that had entered the campaign period last week after the registration of candidates since the fiesta of democracy may lead to new clusters of COVID-19.
"One of (the regional) KPU (General Election Commission) members was exposed to COVID-19. Earlier, 21 employees of (the central) KPU also contracted the virus. In Boyolali (Central Java), the health office confirmed that 70 election supervisory officers had tested positive for COVID-19," he noted in a press statement.
While the transmission of COVID-19 has shown no signs of abating, Razi projected congregations of people during the campaign period.
Razi affirmed that the committee had stood firm against the simultaneous regional head elections long before the government and House of Representatives (DPR) decided to continue the phases of elections.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the elections will run the risk of increasing the rate of transmission of the virus, while on the other hand, no optimum efforts were made to contain the transmission, he remarked.
"Do not let the regional head elections endanger the safety and health of the regional community," he stated.
Razi further called on President Joko Widodo to remain sentient of public safety and to not underestimate the threat of COVID-19 clusters arising from the elections.