Home Minister hopes 50 percent turnout in December local elections

Home Minister hopes 50 percent turnout in December local elections

Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian. (ANTARA/ Abdu Faisal)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian has expressed his hope that the voter turnout in simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada), scheduled to be held late this year, will reach at least 50 percent.

"The target of voter turnout that we expect is above 50 percent. If possible higher than that, it will be better," Tito Karnavian said while speaking during an online seminar here on Saturday.

The minister hoped at least some 53 million people would cast their votes in the upcoming elections this year.

Based on June 9 data, the number of eligible voters in the 2020 local elections is 106,774,112 people, according to Arief Budiiman, chairman of the National Elections Commission (KPU).

The 2020 simultaneous regional head elections will be held in 270 regions on December 9 to elect governors in nine provinces, district heads in 224 districts, and mayors in 37 cities

The local elections were initially scheduled to be organized on September 23, 2020, but owing to th COVID-19 pandemic, it is decided to be postponed.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) issued Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) number 2 of 2020 on May 4, 2020 concerning the postponement of the elections to December.

Arief Budiman said that the implementation of the local elections will follow the health protocols to prevent the COVID-19 transmission.

The commission will provide face masks, hand washing sinks, soaps, and hand sanitizers for officers of the local elections and eligible voters.

"(We will provide) more than 13 million pieces of cloth masks and 304,927 boxes of disposable masks for election officers. So we will give two boxes for every poling station (TPS). In addition to, there are also 609,854 boxes of disposable masks for voters at polling stations. Besides, there are also hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and so on, " Arief Budiman said.

Every election officer will also receive vitamins to maintain endurance of their bodies, and boost their immunity against the COVID-19.

Officers and eligible voters must keep physical distance and the number of voters at one time will also restricted to prevent a big crowd. They are also obliged to wear masks while on duty.

The commission will set up a total of 304,927 polling stations throughout Indonesia, with each polling station has a capacity to accommodate some 500 voters> But the presence of voters will be regulated in accordance with the health protocols.

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