TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

COVID-19 task force urges regional poll candidates to campaign online

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 22, 2020   /   03:48 pm
COVID-19 task force urges regional poll candidates to campaign online Medical workers carry a person on a stretcher during a simulation of the regional election in Banyuwangi, East Java, on Sept. 14. The practice was held as part of preparation for the 2020 simultaneous regional elections set to take place in 270 regions across Indonesia on Dec. 9, despite increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country. (Antara/Budi Candra Setya)

The National COVID-19 task force has urged the election organizers to prohibit direct campaign rallies in the upcoming simultaneous regional elections and turn to online or broadcasted campaigns instead to curb the coronavirus transmission during the elections slated to take place on Dec. 9.

Taskforce chief Doni Monardo said the hardest task during the elections was to prevent crowds.

[Regional elections] are a celebration of democracy that brings people together. The KPU [General Elections Commission] has limited rallies to a maximum of 100 people, but some candidates have violated this,” he said on Tuesday during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission VIII, which oversees social affairs.

"Some of our recommendations to reduce crowds are making the candidates campaign virtually and utilize public television broadcaster TVRI and radio RRI.”

In addition to banning campaign rallies, the task force would also recommend voters to use gloves and hand sanitizer on voting day and limit the number of people allowed at each polling station as well as the voting time.

Read also: Regional races 'can't wait until the pandemic is over': State Palace says amid criticism

Doni, who is also the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said the task force would finalize its recommendations and present them to Home Minister Tito Karnavian and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD.

He added that the public should be wise in selecting regional candidates by also looking at their compliance with the COVID-19 health protocols, noting the need for unity to protect each other as the pandemic had shown no signs of ending anytime soon.

“There’s not an inch of land that is safe in a country where people are still exposed to COVID-19. This ping-pong pattern will occur when there are areas [with infected people]. There’s no territorial boundary for COVID-19. It will definitely spread if we can't guard ourselves,” he said.

The Home Ministry and election organizers on Monday agreed to revise a KPU regulation that allows candidates to hold rallies and concerts during the campaign trail, as it is deemed counterproductive to the country’s efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission. The KPU said it would also increase the number of voting booths and polling stations for December's regional elections.