Minister of Home Affairs confirms simultaneous 2024 Regional Elections

Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian. (Photo: Biro Pers Istana)

IO – Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has declared that Regional Elections will be held simultaneously in 2024, in line with the provisions of Law Number 10 of 2016. Tito made the statement in a Work Meeting between the House’s (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) Committee II and the Minister of Home Affairs, which was concurrently held in a Joint Hearing between the Committee II and the Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”, the Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”), and Electoral Ethical Council (Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilihan Umum – “DKPP”). The agenda was to discuss Preparations for the 2024 Elections, held in Nusantara Building, DPR RI, on Monday (15/03/2021).

“We remain consistent with Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning the Regional Elections. We of the Ministry of Home Affairs opine that Regional Elections must still be held in 2024,” Tito said in his statement. “We must be consistent. The 2024 Simultaneous Regional Elections schedule is mandated by law, and we must follow the law consistently by holding the Elections then. We can revise the Law after we have implemented it, not before.”

Law Number 10 of 2016 Article 201 Paragraph 8 said that simultaneous elections for selecting Governors and Vice Governors, Regents and Vice Regents, and Mayors and Vice Mayors throughout the territory of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia shall be performed in November 2024. “The Regional Elections is the mandate of Law Number 10 of 2016 concerning the Elections of Governors, Regents, and Mayors enacted on 1 July 2016, which stipulates that Regional Elections will be held simultaneously in November 2024,” Tito said.

He went on to state that proper governance and management of the preparations and implementation are the keys to successful Regional Elections. For example, the 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections, which were held during the COVID-19 pandemic, were judged a relative success, with a high level of citizen participation and compliance with health protocols. “Learning from what we experienced during the 2020 Regional Elections, we see that the keys to successful elections are: Good governance, good management, and proper coordination and cooperation among stakeholders. Therefore, the key to successful Elections in 2024 are: Readiness, simulations, governance, and cooperation among all relevant stakeholders. These will guarantee that the next Elections will be smoother, safer, more orderly, and be relatively low in conflicts,” Tito said.

Meanwhile, Acting Chairman of the KPU Ilham Saputra stated that the budget set aside for the 2024 Simultaneous Elections is IDR 86.26 trillion. This budget was set with consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic we are still suffering from. “This budget is for the needs of the next 5 years, starting from preparations in 2021 until the absolute end of the Elections, i.e. validation of results and valid appointment of officials in 2025,” he said.

On the other hand, Indonesia’s Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia – “LIPI”)’s political observer Siti Zuhro believes that holding Regional Elections in 2024 is unrealistic. “This decision seems to ignore the fact that the latest Simultaneous Elections in 2019 left manifold problems in its wake. It is realistic and it seems to be a cruel, careless experiment,” she said. “I sincerely hope that the Government and the DPR review this plan. The price to pay when two Simultaneous Elections is just too high. It is costly not only in the material sense, but it demands cruel physical and mental sacrifice from all levels of the citizenry. Please remember all the sickness and deaths in the last Simultaneous Elections, for the citizens’ sake!” (des)