Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has found that more candidates running in the 2020 regional elections are opting for direct campaign rallies rather than going online, despite the election organizer's call for greater use of indirect campaigning to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
The agency recorded 3,646 face-to-face campaign activities between Oct. 16 and 25 in the 270 regions holding elections. In the meantime, only 80 online campaign activities were recorded – down from 98 activities in the previous 10 days.
Bawaslu member M. Afifuddin said the agency found 306 COVID-19 health protocol violations during the mass gatherings.
"Bawaslu issued 306 warnings and dismissed 25 campaign activities," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The agency also found 918 health protocol violations during the past 30 days of the campaign period.
Afifuddin urged election candidates to improve discipline by adhering to strict health protocols and providing personal protection equipment and sanitation equipment including face masks, hand soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
The 2020 simultaneous regional elections will be held in 270 regions comprising nine provinces, 224 regencies and 37 cities. The campaign period runs from Sept. 26 to Dec. 5. Polling day is scheduled for Dec. 9.