Delayed inauguration for regional election winners who violate health protocols

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The Government is considering the possibility of delaying the inauguration of Candidate Pairs who win the 2020 Regional Elections if they violate health protocols. (Photo: JabarNews.com)

IO – Minister of Home Affair Special Staff in Politics and Media Kastorius Sinaga announced the number of Candidate Pairs who violate health protocols when registering for the 2020 Regional Elections, based on observation of the 650 Candidate Pairs who registered. “From the data collected during registration, we found that 260 out of the 650 Candidate Pairs who registered have violated health protocols,” he said in a written statement released on Tuesday (8/9/2020). 

The Government is considering the possibility of delaying the inauguration of Candidate Pairs who win the 2020 Regional Elections, in order to ensure that Candidate Pairs and other stakeholders of the election maintain the commitment to prevent and help with the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 infection in our homeland. “The compliance of all Candidate Pairs, their campaign teams, and their supporting masses to health protocols, as stipulated in Election Commission Regulations and other regulations, is absolutely necessary. There is no option but to follow,” Kastorius said. 

The plan to delay inaugurations appears in the Coordinating Meeting between the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”), and the Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) to what appears to be a positive response. “This action will be taken if the Regional Head is proven to have significantly violated health protocols during Regional Elections, or when they do not sufficiently support the implementation of COVID-19 prevention and mitigation health protocols during Regional Elections,” he said. 

A delay in the inauguration of Regional Elections winners in the upcoming 9 December 2020 elections for Candidate Pairs who are proven to have violate health protocols is stipulated in a KPU Regulation. The Minister of Home Affairs and other electoral stakeholders will mobilize all available law enforcement instruments to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols. 

Minister of Home Affairs Director General of Regional Autonomy Akmal Malik states that Law Number 23 of 2014 concerning Regional Governments clearly stipulates sanctions for Regional Heads and Vice Regional Heads who violate rules and regulations. The decision to delay the inauguration can also be based on Government Regulation Number 12 of 2017 concerning the Direction and Monitoring of the Running of Regional Government. “If this is a necessary political option to make, we can even prepare a Regulation of the Minister of Home Affairs to deal with this,” Akmal said. “However, the Government prefers to use persuasive methods as much as possible in this issue.” 

Other than delaying the inauguration of Candidate Pairs who violate health protocols during their campaign, another popular option is to appoint officials from the Central Government as temporary Regional Heads, if the winning Candidate is proven to have significantly violate COVID-19 health protocols, as stated above. The inauguration delay is suggested to last 3 to 6 months against Candidate Pairs who repeatedly and/or significantly proven to have violated campaign health protocols during Regional Elections. The delayed Candidate Pairs will then be given additional training in Government Administration by the Ministry of Home Affairs, through its Bureau of HR Education. (dan)