KOMPAS.com – Indonesia is set to hold regional elections on December 9 this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
To allow eligible voters to exercise their voting rights, the government has declared December 9 as a public holiday. This was officially announced following a Presidential Decree signed by President Joko Widodo on Friday, November 27.
The simultaneous local elections will elect a total of 270 regional heads throughout the country.
Meanwhile, in Gorontalo province, Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism unit has arrested seven suspected terrorists in Pohuwato regency.
The operations took place only a week after two other suspected terrorists of the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) terror group were shot dead by Operation Tinombala Task Force members in Central Sulawesi.
The two militant suspects were the two most-wanted list in West Bolano Village in Parigi Moutong regency which is located near Pohuwato regency.
Below are excerpts from the stories in Indonesia, curated by Kompas.com editors:
1. Indonesia Declares December 9 Regional Polls a Public Holiday
The Indonesian government has declared December 9 this year as a national holiday to allow eligible voters to cast their ballots for the simultaneous regional head elections.
The announcement was officially issued after President Joko Widodo signed Presidential Decree (Keppres) No. 22/2020 which stipulates the regional elections day as a public holiday.
The regional elections are set to elect nine governors, 224 regents, and 37 mayors across the country despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decree comes into effect on Friday, November 27.
2. Indonesia Arrests Seven Militant Suspects in Sulawesi’s Gorontalo Province
Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorism unit has arrested seven suspected terrorists in Pohuwato regency, Gorontalo, on the island of Sulawesi recently, police confirmed.
The seven suspects were arrested in two different sub-districts, Randangan and Buntulia.
“It is true that the suspected terrorists have been arrested. However, further details are under the purview of the National Police Headquarters,” Gorontalo Police spokesperson Commissioner Wahyu Tri Cahyono said on Saturday, November 28.
Their whereabouts had long been watched by the counterterrorism squad, known as Densus 88.
The suspected terrorists, who are residents of the Pohuwato regency, were immediately taken to Jakarta for further investigation.
The arrest took place quickly. Therefore, the information about the arrests was only known after they were taken to the National Police Headquarters in the country’s capital.
3. Indonesia’s Finance Ministry Provides $46 Million Loans for Affordable Home Program
Indonesia’s Finance Ministry has provided 650 billion rupiahs ($46 million) loans for state developer Perumnas to build one million affordable houses for low-income people, known in the country by its acronym MBR.
A spokesperson for the Finance Ministry Rahayu Puspasari said that the financing is part of the government investment fund to support the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) this year.
The investment for PEN is in the form of a government bond which is issued through a limited offering by state developer Perumnas in 2020 with a tenor of seven years.
This also aims to strengthen the company’s finances in implementing the one million affordable home project during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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