JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Millions of Indonesians defied the Covid-19 pandemic to cast their votes in the country’s regional elections, with the General Election Commission [KPU] estimating voter turnout to be more than 77 percent.
President Joko Widodo and his political vehicle, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle [PDI-P] had to brush off the stigma of dynastic politics, as the 58-year old’s son and son-in law are leading the mayoral race in the cities of Solo, Central Java and Medan North Sumatra.
Indonesian National Police Chief General Idham Azis expressed relief that the regional elections proceeded peacefully.
This is more than can be said among Indonesia’s elderly, as state owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma voiced doubts that the new vaccines received from China’s Sinovac pharmaceutical company can be used on the elderly. Read on to get more of these stories:
1. Indonesia’s Ruling Party Dispels Political Dynasty Stigma
Indonesia’s ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle [PDI-P] has dispelled the stigma of dynastic politics in the country’s regional elections.
The allegations stuck as President Joko Widodo’s son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and son-in-law Bobby Nasution are shown to lead their respective mayoral races in Solo, Central Java and Medan, North Sumatra.
“[Gibran and Bobby’s wins] reflect the people’s will in choosing their local leaders. Their success also reflected the party’s success in grooming its young cadres,” said PDI-P Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto in a written statement on Wednesday, December 9.
“The two showed their serious and steadfast [political] commitment, because they stayed the course as their political opponents tried to derail their campaigns with allegations of political dynasties.”
He warned that the two still have to prove themselves by dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in their respective areas, and engineer an economic recovery from the crippling effects of the coronavirus.
The Charta Politika survey agency showed that Gibran and his running mate Teguh Prakosa has won 87.23 percent of the votes in the Solo mayoral race, overwhelming their opponents Bagyo Wahyono-FX Supardjo, who has 12.77 percent of the votes.
The agency showed Bobby Nasution and his running mate Aulia Rachman take a 10 percent lead in the Medan mayoral race. The two are clearly ahead with 55.29 percent of the votes to their rivals Akhyar Nasution and Salman Alfarisi’s 44.71 percent.
2. Indonesian National Police Hails Peaceful Regional Elections
Indonesian National Police Chief General Idham Azis expressed his relief that the country’s regional elections proceeded peacefully and without a hitch.
“[The police] has yet to receive reports of any serious security threats, from the 270 areas throughout Indonesia where the elections are held,” he said. “I call on all parties to accept the outcome of the election so as to keep the peace.”
National Police spokesman Inspector General Argo Yuwono reiterated Idham. "I call on the winners of the election and ther supporters not to celebrate their victory on the street or any place where crowds will congregate,” he said.
“After all, the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging through Indonesia.”
3. Indonesia’s Bio Farma Has Not Confirmed Whether Older Adults to Receive Covid-19 Vaccine
Older people expressing their relief that the end is in sight for Indonesia’s Covid-19 outbreak might want to hold the champagne, after Indonesian state owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma has yet to confirm if the vaccine is safe for older people aged over 60.
“In Indonesia, the vaccine would only be prioritized to people aged between 18 and 59 years old. But, in several places such as in Brazil, the vaccine will be given to people over 60 years old,” Basyir said during a virtual press conference held by Marketeers on Wednesday.
The government has set a target of providing the Covid-19 vaccine to 16.6 million residents in the first quarter of 2021.
But their ability to meet this criteria was cast in doubt, as Indonesia has only received 1.2 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac pharmaceutical company last Sunday.
“We will wait for the Ministry of Health and BPOM [the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency] to give the go ahead. If the vaccine is safe [for older adults] it may then be given to people over 60 years old,” he added.
This contrasts with Great Britain, which prioritized senior citizens over 80 years old, healthcare workers, and high-risk groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
An elderly woman named Margaret Keenan, who will turn 91 next week, was the first recipient of the Pfizer vaccine in the UK.
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