Jakarta: President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reminded that the simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada), scheduled on December 9, 2020, must be held safely to prevent covid-19 transmission.
"As the elections will be held in the midst of the pandemic, we hope it will remain democratic, 'luber' (direct, public, free, confidential), 'jurdil' (fair and just), and most importantly safe from COVID-19," President Jokowi remarked at the Merdeka Palace here on Wednesday while chairing a limited cabinet meeting on "Preparations for Simultaneous Regional Head Elections."
The elections must be held safely and in a better manner to safeguard against the spread of covid-19, and to this end, the health and safety of election officers and voters must be prioritized, he remarked.
"The two main areas of focus are notably, better quality 2020 elections and also be safe from covid-19. Hence, the health and safety of officers, participants, and of course, voters must be a priority," the president remarked.
The head of state instructed to habituate oneself to applying health protocols at every stage of the elections.
"This is to ensure that it will not create new clusters or new waves of covid-19, which could be counterproductive," he emphasized.
Reflecting on other countries -- Singapore, Germany, France, and South Korea -- that had also held local and national elections during the covid-19 pandemic, President Jokowi stated that the most important aspect was to convince voters that public health and safety remained the top priority and concern of the KPU and the government.
"Thus, the implementation of strict health protocols will proffer a sense of security that we expect will boost the level of voter participation," the president remarked.
Jokowi is also optimistic that the organizers and participants of the elections would make innovations at various stages of the elections to adapt to the pandemic.
The 2020 simultaneous local elections will be organized in 270 regions in 32 provinces, except Aceh and Jakarta, to elect governors in nine provinces, regents in 224 regencies, and mayors in 37 cities.
Based on the June 9 data, the number of eligible voters in the 2020 local elections reaches 106,774,112.
The pilkada campaign will be conducted for 71 days, from September 26 until December 5, 2020. (antara)