Home Minister Tito Karnavian is upbeat that, amid allegations of candidates breaching health protocols and demands by the public to postpone the case, the campaign paths for the upcoming simultaneous regional elections in December will be free of COVID-19 transmissions.
He added that, as the General Elections Commission (KPU) had allowed candidates to use personal protective equipment ( PPE) and hand sanitizer as campaign props, the campaigns would also endorse the handling of COVID-19 across the country. The committee also set the mitigation of COVID-19 as the key topic for the public discussions of the candidates.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the KPU recently revised a regulation (PKPU) on holding regional elections that officially prohibited campaign activities that would draw crowds in the midst of mounting concerns about increased transmission across the world.
Many political parties have instructed their candidates to make virtual campaigning a priority and to be disciplined in enforcing health protocols for COVID-19. The first campaign week for the upcoming elections ran smoothly, Tito said, amid reports of candidates breaching health protocols. He said the number of breaches of health protocols was not as high as at the beginning of September, when more than 100 candidates brought with them large entourages upon registration for the elections.
There have been mounting demands by organizations and government advocates to postpone the regional elections, scheduled to take place in 270 regions across the archipelago on Dec. 9, and to prioritize public health after a persistent increase in transmissions of coronavirus.