Indonesia Not Delaying Regional Elections Despite High Cases of Covid-19

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Voting location. TEMPO

    Voting location. TEMPO

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia will still hold on to the 2020 regional elections even though the country continues to see spikes in new cases of Covid-19. The new coronavirus has infected organizers as well as candidates.

    Saan Mustopa, deputy chair of the DPR's Commission II, said that all stages of the elections are going well. "To date, we have not reached an option to delay the Pilkada, as everything is going relatively well," he told Tempo, Monday, September 14.

    Saan admitted that there have been problems, including the fact that several candidates held campaigns that gathered large crowds. The Nasdem Party politician said they are evaluating the incidents to prevent them from happening again.

    Meanwhile, according to the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), 243 of 743 regional head candidates violated health protocols by bringing large crowds of supporters when registering their candidacy to the KPU.

    The suggestion to postpone the 2020 Pilkada was previously uttered by the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem). Perludem director Khairunnisa Nur Agustiyati said that the elections should be postponed if the government is unable to enforce of health protocols.

    "If it worsens the spread of Covid-19, it's better to just postpone it, don't put public health at risk," Khairunnisa said on Sunday, September 12.

    The People's Consultative Assembly Speaker, Bambang Soesatyo, also suggested the same thing. According to Bambang, the government and the KPU need to consider postponing the Pilkada if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase.

    On Sunday, September 13, the number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia reached 218,382 with 8,732 people dead.

    Previously, KPU chairman Arief Budiman announced that 60 regional head candidates tested positive for Covid-19. However, the KPU refused to say who they are. Ninety six members of the Bawaslu in Boyolali Regency, Central Java, also tested positive for Covid-19.

    Read also: Ministry Confirms 72 Regional Head Candidates Violating Covid-19 Health Protocols

    BUDIARTI UTAMI PUTRI