Three success indicators of the Simultaneous Regional Elections: amid the pandemic according to the House of Representatives

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DPR RI’s Committee II Chairman Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung gives souvenirs at the end of the recent Working Visit to the Regency of Badung, Bali. (Photo: Doc. DPR RI)

IO – As the 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections approaches even nearer, the Government continues to request all citizens participating in the Elections to implement health protocols in strict discipline in order to prevent further infections of the Coronavirus. After all, people have asked the Government to delay this once-every-five-year democratic event out of concern for possible COVID-19 infection. However, the Government and the Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) have confirmed that the 2020 Regional Elections will be held on schedule, but with strict health protocols built in the procedures.

DPR’s Chairman of Committee II Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung reiterates that Simultaneous Regional Elections will still be held on 9 December 2020, but with necessary adjustments in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, there are three success indicators for organizing Simultaneous Regional Elections amid the pandemic: “First, when all of the stages designed by the KPU are executed properly. So far, we have reached the campaign stage. That’s three more stages to go: The voting proper, the counting and summary of votes, and the expression and resolution of disputes for the results. I think the current stage is 80% completed,” he said amid the recent DPR Committee II’s Recess Work Visit to the Regency of Badung, Bali, which was made in order to inspect the preparations for the Regional Elections in the Province of Bali.

Doli further stated that the second indicator is a high level of voter participation. High citizen participation means that the quality of the Regional Elections will remain high. KPU’s target of citizen participation 77.5%. “We actually have a benchmark: The average national participation in the 2019 Elections was 83%. Even though it is not exactly an “apple to apple comparison” because our citizens’ enthusiasm towards Presidential Elections is much higher than towards Regional Elections, I still think a target of 77% participation to be realistic. However, we all need to support it with our hard work. This is why I always emphasize that the onus on electoral participation should not remain on organizers, in this case the KPU and the Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum – “Bawaslu”) only. It is more on how Regional Governments convince their citizens to utilize their voting rights by ensuring that the booths are clean and safe. This requires socialization,” he said.

Holding Regional Elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic means that we need to adapt, among others by implementing strict health protocols in order to prevent the pandemic even further. This will maintain both the Elections’ quality and the people’s safety. “The third success indicator, other than smooth execution of all stages and high level of electoral participation, is the safety and survival of us all. By that I mean both voters and electoral organizers,” Doli said. (dan)