The Jakarta Post
The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) found that at least 141 regional leader candidates took a large entourage with them upon registering for this year’s simultaneous regional elections despite calls to reduce crowds amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bawaslu member Fritz Edward Siregar said 315 candidates had gone to their regional General Elections Commission (KPU) office to register themselves as candidates for the upcoming regional elections, the voting day for which is slated for December.
“[We found that] 141 candidates took crowds that exceeded the maximum number regulated by the elections commission,” Fritz said on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.com.
He added that authorities had to prevent the entourages from entering the regional KPU buildings, while coordinating with local police to maintain order and urge all parties to adhere to health protocols.
Fritz went on to say that Bawaslu would investigate whether the gathering of such large crowds violated any laws, such as the regulation on health quarantine during an infectious disease outbreak.
Home Minister Tito Karnavian urged regional electoral candidates to avoid taking large numbers of supporters, which has become a tradition among candidates registering for the election.
A newly revised KPU regulation stipulates that candidates can only be accompanied by their supporting political parties or their coalition leader and secretary when registering with the KPU.
On Dec. 9, 270 regions will hold simultaneous elections, including nine provinces, 224 regencies and 37 municipalities. The KPU will close the registration period on Sunday. (mfp)