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Home Ministry to replace acting heads seeking election bid by July

Jakarta Post - June 11, 2024

Jakarta – The Home Ministry is gearing up to replace interim regional heads, including acting governors, aiming to contest the 2024 regional head elections in a bid to ensure it is fair and accountable.

Home Minister Tito Karnavian said the government would not hinder acting governors from running in November, while emphasizing that they must resign from their current positions to register their candidacy.

"We have already said that most likely, [aspirational interim heads would be replaced] in mid-July," Tito told a meeting on Monday with House of Representatives Commission II, which oversees home affairs, as quoted by Kompas.com.

He added that the interim heads should be replaced to avoid their resorting to the unfair practice of using state facilities during their campaigning.

The ministry has issued a letter to all acting governors nationwide that instructs them to notify it immediately if they intend to contest the regional heads elections, as the government would need around a month to prepare their temporary replacements.

Finding a suitable replacement would not be easy, Tito told the meeting: "We have to send letters again to the relevant regional legislative councils [DPRDs], governors or acting governors, requesting them to propose potential names," which the ministry must then vet.

The simultaneous regional head elections scheduled for Nov. 27 is the first time Indonesian voters will be electing governors, regents and mayors across 37 provinces, excepting Yogyakarta, and more than 500 regencies and municipalities.

Potential candidates can run either on a party ticket or as an independent, each of which comes with its own conditions. Candidates with political party backing can register starting on Aug. 27, with the General Elections Commission (KPU) slated to announce the final list of candidates on Sept. 22.

Tito said he had received information that at least one acting governor, whom he did not name, had expressed their intention to run in November, Tribunnews.com reported.

Speculation has been rife that Jakarta's acting governor Heru Budi Hartono, who has been featured on posters and stickers spotted across the city, has ambitions of running for Jakarta governor in November.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo handpicked Heru, a Jokowi loyalist unaffiliated with any political party who also heads the Presidential Secretariat, as the capital's acting governor in late 2022. (alf)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/06/11/home-ministry-to-replace-acting-heads-seeking-election-bid-by-july.htm