Gov’t Asks Voters to Follow Health Protocols on Regional Election Day
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD invited the public to exercise their rights to vote during the simultaneous regional elections this coming Wednesday (9/12) while maintaining discipline in implementing health protocols.
“On D-day, go to the polling stations according to the time, schedule set by the General Elections Commission (KPU) and follow the health protocols,” Mahfud said in Jakarta, Saturday (5/12).
Voters are also asked to maintain order during the voting process. “Usually the commotion occurs after the vote count and so on. Everything must be proportional and orderly for the sake of our common good,” Mahfud said.
After a 71-day campaign period, the 2020 Simultaneous Elections have entered the cooling-off period, on 6-8 December. “Don’t make a noise on the cooling-off days. Prepare for the voting day as well as possible, be it the organizers, contestants, and the community,” the Coordinating Minister said, while also expressed his well appreciation to all parties involved during the campaign period.
Previously, the COVID-19 Handling Task Force through its spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito stated four important messages on the holding of regional elections during a pandemic.
First, the public as voters must realize the importance of a regional head’s role in bringing each region to fight against COVID-19. “Choose a leader who obeys the rules related to health protocols during campaigns, because this can be a reflection of the leader’s future responsibilities,” Wiku said.
This year’s regional elections will determine the direction of health security and recovery for each region. “I really hope people can use their voting rights to elect a leader who is responsible and has the capacity and commitment to lead the region in the midst of a pandemic,” he said.
Second, the Task Force asked the public to always adhere to health protocols during the 2020 elections. He emphasized that the elections should not contribute to an increase in cases or the start of a new cluster. “The elections can take place safely if all parties involved are disciplined, apply all health protocols and follow directions set by the KPU,” Wiku said.
Third, the Task Force asked regional leaders to make good use of the remaining campaign period and continously campaigning for the importance of a safe and COVID-19 free regional election. “Always adhere to health protocols in campaigning. Be responsible and don’t carry out any campaign activities thatdraw a large crowd,” he said.
Fourth, the Task Force asked the Regional Election Supervisory Board to immediately take firm action if a regional head candidate violates health protocols. “Coordinate with Task Force in the regions to immediately disperse campaign activities that cause crowds,” he said.
Wiku stated that the KPU has carried out measures to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases ahead of the regional elections. “Testing is carried out to the officers who will be on duty at the polling stations in order to ensure those who are on duty are healthy and free of COVID-19,” he said.
Polling stations, he said, will be equipped with a place for washing hands and applying hand sanitizers. Officers and voters are also required to wear masks, maintain their distance as well as organize arrival of voters in order to prevent crowds.
The officers will also check the voters’ body temperature to ensure that they are also in good health. Simulation with supervision from the Task Force is also held ahead of the elections.
“Let us create regional elections that are safe and free of COVID-19. Let us together commit to do our best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia,” he said. (PR of Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs/Communication Team of KPCPEN/UN) (FI/MMB)