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Jakarta Post

Jakarta deputy governor confirmation hearing to go ahead despite COVID-19

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   01:55 pm
Jakarta deputy governor confirmation hearing to go ahead despite COVID-19 Jakarta Council speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi talks to the press at his office on Tuesday. (JP/ Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman)

The confirmation hearing for the Jakarta deputy governor, set to take place on March 23, will go ahead as planned with some restrictions imposed as precautionary measures against COVID-19, the Jakarta Council said. 

The council is expected to hold a plenary session on March 23 to choose between Gerindra Party politician Riza Patria and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Nurmansyah Lubis as a deputy to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan for the 2020-2022 period. 

Council speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi said attendees of the plenary session would be limited to city councillors, Jakarta agency heads and mayors. The Jakarta Health Agency is expected to help with the standard operating procedure, such as by providing face masks, hand sanitizer and conducting temperature checks.

"[Governor] Anies should have a partner in this kind in this kind of situation. He needs input from a partner, namely a deputy governor," Prasetyo, a Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, told the press at his office on Tuesday. 

The deputy governor seat has been left vacant since the former deputy governor, Gerindra Party politician Sandiaga Uno, resigned to run as a vice presidential candidate alongside fellow Gerindra politician Prabowo Subianto in the 2019 elections.

The PDI-P holds the most seats on the 106-strong council with 25 seats, followed by Gerindra with 19 seats and the PKS with 15 seats.

Riza, a former House of Representatives member, has said he was backed by, among others, the Golkar Party's Jakarta deputy chairman, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, and the PDI-P. Meanwhile, Nurmasyah has said he is backed by, among others, council deputy speaker Abdurrahman Suhaimi.

The feasibility of the 23 March plenary session to choose a deputy governor has been questioned as the central government and the Jakarta administration have discouraged large scale meetings to prevent the COVID-19 from further spreading. 

Speaker Prasetyo said the council would not receive or conduct any visits for the time being as a preventive measure against COVID-19. 

As of Wednesday morning, Indonesia has reported 172 confirmed cases of COVID-19. (dfr)