Govt declares voting day 'public holiday'
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
The government has officially declared Wednesday, the day during which 171 provinces, cities and regencies across Indonesia will hold regional head elections simultaneously, a national holiday.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday signed Presidential Decree (Keppres) No. 15/2018, which stipulates the simultaneous regional elections day as an official day-off for the public.
“I have signed it [the Keppres] to provide citizens a chance to exercise their voting rights,” Jokowi told journalists on Monday.
With the decree, voters across the country are now able to go to the polls and vote to choose for their next regional leaders.
The idea to declare Wednesday a public holiday was initially proposed by the General Elections Commission (KPU), which previously sent a formal request regarding the matter to the President.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said the government's decision to declare nationally the simultaneous regional elections a public holiday aimed to ensure that all residents of the 171 regions that lived outside the areas could return to their hometowns and cast their ballots.
On Wednesday, over 152 million citizens, more than half the country’s population, are set to choose the new executive heads for 17 provinces, 115 regencies and 39 cities. (ebf)
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