Ensure high voter turnout in local elections amid COVID-19: President

Ensure high voter turnout in local elections amid COVID-19: President

President Joko Widodo chairs a cabinet meeting. (ANTARA/HO-Kris-Biro Pers Sekretariat Presiden)

Most importantly, we must be able to convince voters that the KPU and government are highly concerned about public health and safety
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on related ministries and the General Elections Commission (KPU) to impose stringent health protocols to attain maximum participation rate in this year's simultaneous regional elections on Dec 9.

"Most importantly, we must be able to convince voters that the KPU and government are highly concerned about public health and safety," he stated at a virtual meeting held to discuss preparations for the 2020 regional elections at the Merdeka Palace here Wednesday.

In the midst of this novel coronavirus disease outbreak, several countries, including Germany, Singapore, South Korea, and France, had convened their regional and national elections, Jokowi noted.

The strict imposition of health protocols to break the chain of COVID-19 infection was deemed crucial to convince eligible voters to cast their votes in ballot booths. Thus, this festival of democracy could run peacefully and fairly, he emphasized.

"The strict enforcement of health protocols will also reflect sound management and offer a sense of safety and security to the voters that would also have a positive impact on the participation rates," he noted.

President Jokowi also stressed on the importance of enforcing health protocols across all stages of this year's simultaneous regional elections to ensure that this democratic process runs in a fair and peaceful manner and does not lead to the creation of new COVID-19 clusters.

"Of course, this is a new momentum to demonstrate a new approach to hold simultaneous regional elections and an innovative way for both organizers and participants to practice democracy amid this COVID-19 pandemic situation," he affirmed.

Some 270 regions in Indonesia, comprising nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities, will hold regional elections on Dec 9, 2020.

Coronavirus infections initially surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

COVID-19 thereafter spread to over 215 countries and territories, including 34 provinces of Indonesia, with a huge rise in death toll.

Papua has kept making persistent, all-out efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve.

As of August 4, Indonesia had registered 1,922 new confirmed cases, thereby bringing the tally to 115,056, while the total number of people recovering from COVID-19 had reached 72,050, with 1,813 new recoveries.

The death toll has reached 5,388, with 86 people additionally succumbing to COVID-19, according to the Indonesian Task Force for COVID-19 response.

A total of 22,902 specimens from 13,456 people were examined at 320 laboratories across Indonesia on Tuesday, thereby bringing the total count of specimens subject to laboratory examination to 1,575,043 from 907,987 people so far.

East Java emerged as the province with the highest number of confirmed cases reaching 430; followed by 410 cases in Jakarta; 119 cases in South Kalimantan; 117 cases in South Sulawesi; and 94 cases in West Java.  

EDITED BY INE

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