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September 22, 2020, 12.53 AM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comIndonesia’s House of Representatives and the government have agreed to hold regional elections on December 9 despite the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.

The Commission II overseeing home affairs, however, called on relevant parties to strictly implement the health protocols and impose sanctions on violators.

“The House’s Commission II, along with the Minister of Home Affairs, Chairman of the General Elections Commission [KPU], Head of the Elections Supervisory Agency [Bawaslu], and Head of the Election Organization Ethics Council [DKPP] have agreed that the 2020 regional elections will be held on December 9 by enforcing order and legal sanctions for violations of the health protocols,” said Commission II Chairman Ahmad Doli Kurnia at the meeting on Monday, September 21.

The Commission II urged the KPU to revise the regulation (PKPU) No.10/2020 which stipulates the implementation of the 2020 regional elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also read: Indonesia to Push Ahead with 2020 Regional Elections Despite Covid-19 Challenges

Doli said that the PKPU revision is expected to specifically regulate, among others, the prohibition of organizing mass gatherings and encouraging online election campaigns.

Moreover, the campaigns should also promote the importance of using masks, hand sanitizers, other personal protective equipment, and washing hands with soaps in an effort to protect against the spread of the Covid-19, he added.

“In an effort to anticipate the spread of Covid-19 and violations to the health protocols, the House’s Commission II urged the KPU to immediately revise PKPU No.10/2020 on an amendment to PKPU No.6/2020,” he said.

He also said that the Commission II called on the working group established by Bawaslu, KPU, DKPP, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Indonesian military (TNI), National Police, Attorney General’s Office, and the Covid-19 Task Force to closely monitor the stages of regional elections that could potentially lead to a large crowd. This could happen during the determination of regional head candidates, drawing for the candidates’ ballot numbers, campaigning, as well as voting and ballot count.

Also read: Indonesian Government Urged to Intensify Mass Testing for Covid-19

The Commission II also called for the government and election organizers to coordinate with the Covid-19 Task Force to get the latest data on Covid-19 transmission zones.

“We agree to ask for a detailed explanation to the Covid-19 Task Force regarding the status of the Covid-19 zones and its risk in each region of the regional elections in a bid to anticipate the emergence of a new Covid-19 cluster,” said Doli.

It was reported that the simultaneous regional polls on December 9 — which have already been delayed once due to fears over a contagion — will elect hundreds of local leaders throughout the country.

Indonesia has confirmed nearly 250,000 Covid-19 infections and 9,677 deaths. Those infected include high-ranking officials and election commission officials.

(Writer: Tsarina Maharani | Editor: Fabian Januarius Kuwado)


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