The reopening of the registration for new pairs of candidates in seven regions will last for three days from August 9 to 11.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Seven regions were facing issues in implementing the simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) for having less than two tickets.

However, the problem has been resolved for the time being as the General Elections Commission (KPU) has reopened the registration for the pilkada.

The KPU had closed the registration on August 3, but till the deadline, only one pair of candidates had registered in seven regions.

The simultaneous regional head elections, which were scheduled to be held across the country on December 9, could not be organized in these places with only one ticket.

However, the problem has been resolved, at least temporarily, following a recommendation from the General Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) that the KPU open another round of registration for the seven regions.

With the opening of another round of registration, the seven regions are expected to have more than one ticket so that they can take part in the pilkada.

During the elections, voters across the country will simultaneously elect governors in nine provinces, district heads in 224 districts, and mayors in 36 municipalities.

Based on the recommendation of the Bawaslu, the KPU finally decided to open another round of registration from August 9 to August 11.

Earlier, it was suggested that the president issue a government regulation in lieu of law (perppu) to resolve the issue.

"The KPU is aware of the suggestion that the problem be settled through the issuance of a perppu," KPU Chairman Husni Kamil Manik said in Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday.

However, he added, President Joko Widodo will not issue a perppu to address the problem.

"The president is not available to issue a perppu," Manik pointed out at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Wednesday.

He was attending a consultation meeting with the president, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and heads of state institutions over the pilkada issue.

At the consultation meeting, Manik shed light on the results of a coordination meeting held earlier among the KPU, Bawaslu, and the Elections Organizers Ethics Council.

He revealed that two conclusions were reached during the coordination meeting on Wednesday morning, one of which was that the KPU had no authority to take the initiative to revise regulations.

"The second conclusion is that a perppu is needed only when there is no other way out," he remarked.

The registration of candidates was closed on Augusts 3, he added, but seven districts/municipalities registered only one pair of candidates.

"According to law number 8 of 2015, each region must have at least two tickets. There is no other regulation regarding this subject, and the existing law stipulates that the elections must, in principle, proceed," Manik explained.

However, he noted that during another discussion held later, whose outcome was also brought up during the consultation meeting with the president, a solution was reached. They decided that the problem can be resolved with the issuance of a perppu or with the authority of the Bawaslu in accordance with law number 15 of 2011 and law number 8 of 2015.

Based on the law, the Bawaslu has the authority to revise a policy, which was implemented by the KPU. "The authority is that it can make a recommendation," Manik pointed out.

Therefore, the Bawaslu, which held a meeting later on Wednesday, issued a recommendation regarding the lack of tickets in the seven electoral regions. It was conveyed to the KPU to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of the simultaneous regional head elections.

Chairman of the Bawaslu Muhammad stated that his office held a plenary meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss important matters, as the registration of regional head election candidates had been closed.

"The Bawaslu has to take action soon with regard to the prevailing constraints," he remarked.

The seven regions where only one pair of candidates registered are Tasikmalaya district in West Java; Blitar district, Pacitan district, and Surabaya city in East Java; Mataram city in West Nusa Tenggara; Samarinda city in East Kalimantan; and North Timor Tengah district in East Nusa Tenggara.

On Thursday, August 6, the KPU decided to respond to the recommendation and reopen registration for new pairs of candidates, to allow these seven regions to take part in the simultaneous pilkada.

Manik affirmed on Thursday that the commission would reschedule certain phases of election preparation activities, while the voting date would remain December 9.

The reschedule is required because popularization activities, following the reopening of registration, will be carried out for three days from August 6 to 8.

The reopening of the registration for new pairs of candidates in seven regions will last for three days from August 9 to 11.

The activity that may be shortened is campaigning, which was earlier scheduled to be conducted from August 27 to December 5.

"We also hope that elections-related disputes handled by the Bawaslu do not protract beyond the schedule," he remarked.

Earlier, Ahmad Basarah, a cadre of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, stated that problems were arising during preparations for the pilkada due to inadequate legal norms.

The regional head elections, which will be held on December 9, is a national agenda that should be supported by all to ensure its success. Yet, a problem is still being encountered in its implementation in seven regions.

This is a kind of homework, and we have to find a way out together, he stressed.

"This is a new development in Indonesian democracy," Basarah noted.(*)

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2015