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Jakarta Post

Bawaslu records 243 health protocol violations during regional elections registration

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 8, 2020   /   09:21 am
Bawaslu records 243 health protocol violations during regional elections registration Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) head Abhan (left) presides over a hearing for a campaign violation case alongside member M. Afifudin on Nov. 6, 2017 (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has come across 243 violations of health protocols during the 2020 regional elections’ registration phase from Sept. 4 to 6.

“As many as 316 candidate pairs were involved in the violations. They did not abide by health protocols by bringing along many people during the registration process,” Bawaslu member Fritz Edward Siregar told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Fritz also said Bawaslu had coordinated with the Home Ministry, National Police and the General Elections Commission (KPU) to further monitor and impose sanctions against health protocols violations during 2020 regional elections.

“Bawaslu has given a recommendation for the KPU to create ‘integrity pacts’ [with candidates] about the implementation of health protocols when the official candidate lists are announced,” he said.

Previously, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered on Monday the home minister, National Police and Bawaslu to assertively condemn any violations of health protocols during the regional elections by giving harsher warnings.

“I instruct the home minister to take firm action [to prevent] COVID-19 clusters [from emerging] in the regional elections. The National Police also need to do the same,” he said at the opening speech of Monday’s Cabinet meeting.

Bawaslu chairman Abhan said the 2016 Regional Elections Law did not stipulate any criminal charges against candidates who violated health protocols during elections.

He added, however, that Bawaslu had the authority to take action against violators under the 2018 Health Quarantine Law as well as Health Ministry regulations and regional bylaws.

He further warned of potential large gatherings on Sept. 23 when the KPU announced the final candidates for the regional elections.

“There will also surely be crowds gathered to stage protests against the result of elections. So, to those who may later feel the results are unfair, you can pursue legal avenues instead of gathering large crowds,” Abhan said.

Home Minister Tito Karnavian has repeatedly warned regional officials and potential candidates in the run-up to the regional elections not to conduct any rallies or large campaign events, as stipulated under KPU Regulation No.  10/2020 issued on Aug. 31 on simultaneous regional elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.