Jakarta (ANTARA) - The General Elections Commission (KPU) has postponed the preliminary stages of the simultaneously regional elections in an attempt to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The postponement is in accordance with the World Health Organizations (WHO) that declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and the government's decision to declare COVID-19 a nationwide non-natural disaster.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has declared on Jan. 28 the COVID-19 pandemic a "particular state of disaster emergency" and the status was extended until May 29.

"Regarding to the implementation of the simultaneous regional elections scheduled to be held on September 23, the commission has issued a circular postponing preliminary stages of the elections to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the KPU said, Sunday, in its circular signed by KPU's chairman Arief Budiman.

The postponement would include some stages, namely the swearing in of voting committees (PPS), verification of supporters for individual candidates, establishment of voters updating committees (PPDP), matching and rechecking of voters, updating list of voters.

For districts and municipalities which already inaugurated their voting committees and the regions have yet to be affected by the coronavirus, KPU said, the committees could continue their works with more well-arranged working time.

For regions that will conduct gubernatorial elections, the elections committee in each province should report the development of each stage of the gubernatorial election and execute the KPU's decision to postpone the stages

As of Saturday (March 21), Indonesia has confirmed 450 COVID-19 cases, with 38 deaths and 20 recoveries.

Translator: Fransiska Ninditya, Sri Haryat
Editor: Suharto
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