Minister of Home Affairs: “Candidate Regional Heads, please campaign virtually – no crowds during campaigns”

Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian confirms that the Simultaneous Regional Elections on 9 December 2020 will not be further delayed, even though some people have requested it, because the curve of COVID-19 infection has not flattened yet. “I have talked with the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah – “DPD”), with their leaders. They fully understand why,” he said in the Coordination Meeting for Preparing the 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections, doubled with Directing the COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force in Jambi on Wednesday (26/08/2020). 

The Minister requests that the 2020 Regional Elections be held in compliance with the health protocol to inhibit the spread of the Coronavirus. Furthermore, Candidate Regional Heads are also requested to refrain from amassing crowds during their campaigns. Tito further states that he has issued orders to his men with the House of Representatives (DPR), who represents the people’s opinion. “Campaign masses are prohibited from holding crowded convoys or pageants. We are encouraging all Candidate Regional Heads to perform virtual campaigning for the Elections,” he said. 

Tito went on to say that there are many campaigning events that can be held virtually. “Everything can be done with IT nowadays; it’s easy for event organizers (“EOs”) to hold virtual events. During this Coronavirus pandemic, all Candidates must pit their creativity against each other so that our citizens can avoid crowds that spread COVID-19 infection all too easily,” he said. 

Tito then stated that Candidate Regional Heads should utilize the campaign period to remind citizens of the importance of health protocols. “As exemplars, these Regional Heads must show their people importance of wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and utilizing hand sanitizers. Other than cutting off the chain of infection, all these Regional Heads must also come up with ways to revive the economy, which has stagnated and even dropped downward since the pandemic entered our country,” he said. 

Tito further encourages the people to bully Candidate Regional Heads who fail to comply with health protocols. “Yes, just bully these Candidate Regional Heads who enter the Regional Elections while violating health protocols together. Let this bullying become social sanction for them. After all, why bother electing people who do not practice good sense in this pandemic? Don’t we want Regional Heads who are able to control the pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic impacts, instead of worsening them?” he said. (dan)