Home Minister Reprimands 53 Incumbent Regional Heads for Violating Health Protocols
Date 9 September 2020
Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has reprimanded 53 incumbent regional heads for involving masses during registration for 2020 Regional Head Elections.
During a press conference after a virtual Limited Meeting on Tuesday (8/9), the Minister stated that dissemination on health protocols during elections stages which was conducted just before the registration might be the reason behind the mass gathering. The other reason is that the candidates blatantly involved the masses and violated the health protocols after received the dissemination to show their power by using mechanism of previous elections.
“We have indeed taken some measures to give deterrent effect through letters of reprimand. The Ministry can give punishment to the candidates who are civil state apparatus, for example the incumbent regional head. To date, we have reprimanded 53 incumbent regional heads who conducted mass gathering. The implication for their action will follow,” the Minister said.
For candidates other than civil state apparatus, the Ministry do not have a right to impose sanctions, but the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu). The Agency in several regions has once again reprimanded those violating the rules.
“A warning needs to be given to create deterrent effect and to show that there is a problem. They must know that they have violated the rules. In term of law, there is a principle in which everyone is considered to know all the law. Thus, we imposed the sanctions,” he explained.
He went on to say that the Ministry has also anticipated mass gathering at the next events, namely the announcement of regional head and deputy head candidate pairs who have met the requirements on 23 September 2020, and rally period from 26 September to 5 December 2020.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs will hold a coordinating meeting with all stakeholders who have the authority to prevent mass gathering, such as the General Elections Commission (KPU), Regional General Elections Commission (KPUD) level I and level II, Bawaslu level I and level II, the Indonesian National Police (Polri) including the Regional Police Chiefs (Kapolda), Regency Police Chiefs (Kapolres), the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) personnel including those from Military Regional Commands (Kodam), Military Resort Commands (Korem), and Military District Commands (Kodim), the Indonesian National Intelligence Agency (BIN) at central and regional levels, the Attorney General, High Prosecutor General Offices (Kejati), and District Prosecutor General Office (Kejari).
“The Ministry of Home Affairs also invited all regional heads accompanied by three high-ranking officials from Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) who is a part of COVID-19 Task Force Team, the National and Political Unity Office (Kesbangpol), from the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and the Community Protection Agency (Linmas),” he explained.
On that occasion, the Minister also said that the announcement of regional head and deputy head candidate pairs who have met the requirements is prone to violation. “Those meeting the requirement may feel the euphoria so that they will gather mass to celebrate, while those not meeting the requirement may feel upset. However, they cannot commit act of anarchy and gather the mass. Their protest will be made through legal process,” he said.
Long rally period, he added, is also prone to violation. Therefore, all stakeholders must be united in taking measures. “The TNI, Polri, BIN, Satpol PP must be involved. Rules of rally which have been regulated by the KPU Head must be disseminated. Coordinating meeting on the election security measures will be held in each region to anticipate violation. It involves all stakeholders and invites participants of political parties, and the candidates for the elections. Regulations of the KPU will be disseminated (in that meeting). Afterwards, we also suggested them to make integrity pact signed by the candidates and their parties,” he added.
According to Tito, the pact will not only cover declaration to accept the result of the elections, but also ensure that all parties will comply with the regulations and rules of the elections, provisions of laws and regulations, and the COVID-19 health protocols.
Regarding the violation, the Minister added that if three violations or more were committed by a candidate who is elected in the elections, the President, according to mandates of Law Number 23 of 2014 on Regulation of Regional Governments, can ordered Minister of Home Affairs to postpone the inauguration for 6 months. Then, the elected head and deputy head must receive education for 6 months at the state-run Institute of Public Administration (IPDN) so they can be a good leader,” he stated.
In case when incumbent regional head participating in the elections is on leave for 71 days to hold rally, the Ministry will give suggestion to appoint acting officer from the Ministry, not officer from the respective regional government, in order to monitor and ensure that the rally is conducted based on the health protocols. (FID/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Yuyu Mulyani