House urges KPU, Bawaslu to draft SOPs to tackle COVID-19

House urges KPU, Bawaslu to draft SOPs to tackle COVID-19

Illustration (ANTARA/Kliwon)

For the time being, every stage of the elections that has been scheduled may be implemented, but all activities, involving mass gatherings, need to be restricted and carried out in shifts
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The House of Representatives (DPR) urged the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to draft standard operating procedures (SOPs) to handle the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’s impact on 2020 simultaneous regional elections.

To this end, the related authorities tasked with convening of the regional elections should not be in a hurry in deciding whether to cancel or still proceed with it, Chairman of the House's Commission II Overseeing Home Affairs Ahmad Doli Kurnia stated here on Tuesday.

"For the time being, every stage of the elections that has been scheduled may be implemented, but all activities, involving mass gatherings, need to be restricted and carried out in shifts," he emphasized.

The global pandemic of COVID-19 is expected to end soon, and not disrupt the people's activities, including the scheduled convening of this year's simultaneous regional elections, he remarked.

On Monday, Deputy House Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad expressed concerns that at least 134 people in several Indonesian cities being infected by COVID-19 might hinder the convening of the 2020 regional elections, scheduled simultaneously in 270 regions.

"The House urges the government to review the convening of this year's simultaneous regional elections amid our ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak," Ahmad affirmed.

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As of Monday, the number of COVID-19 patients in Indonesia had reached at least 134, as the virus has spread to several regions, including Jakarta, Bandung, Tangerang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Bali, Manado, and Pontianak.

The review will help to establish whether to proceed with this year's simultaneous regional elections as scheduled by taking into account the spread of COVID-19 that the WHO has recently declared as a global pandemic, Ahmad explained.

If the related ministries and government agencies as well as the KPU and Bawaslu go ahead with the scheduled convening of the elections, he suggested to put in place certain mechanisms.

Ahmad reiterated the significance of preparing a model of political campaigns on social media platforms and disseminating ideas, programs, and political pledges through mainstream and news media to avoid mass gatherings.

"In this digital era, it is possible to implement a model of political campaigns without mobilizing people in order to attend mass rallies," he stated.

A total of 270 regions in Indonesia, comprising nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities, will hold regional elections on September 23, 2020.

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