Dec. 9 to be national holiday for regional elections: election commission

Election ink in Indonesia. Photo: Coconuts Media
Election ink in Indonesia. Photo: Coconuts Media

Whether you’re voting or not on Dec. 9 (we won’t hold it against you if you want to avoid crowds for health reasons), you will get the day off as the government is set to turn the date into a national holiday.

On Dec. 9, Indonesia is set to hold simultaneous regional elections in which nine provinces, 37 cities, and 224 regencies will be going to the polls. Like in previous years, even though not all of Indonesia will be voting, a national holiday will be mandated for the whole country.

“The day of the election will be, as mandated by law, a holiday, like in the 2015, 2017, 2018 regional elections,” General Election Commission (KPU) Commissioner Hasyim Asy’ari said in a virtual meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) yesterday.

The decision, Hasyim said, will be made final with the imminent passing of a Presidential Decree (Keppres).

“Hopefully, the holiday will be a contributing factor towards high attendance at the polls,” Hasyim said, adding that the commission is expecting a 77.5 percent voter turnout this year.

KPU and the government have come under fire for their decision to press ahead with the regional elections amid the ongoing pandemic. They cited constitutional rights as the main reason behind their rejection to delay the elections, and that they have instructed for health protocols to be observed at all polling stations.

Related — Islamic group threatens 212 mass rally if regional elections go ahead amid pandemic

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