Erwin Prima, Jakarta – Pressure for the government to postpone holding the simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) has come from multiple organizations, among others are the Komnas HAM (the national commission on human rights), two major Islamic organizations Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah.
The call to postpone the elections is mainly due to the fact that the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has not seen significant improvements, and is rather intensifying.
Komnas HAM commissioner Hairansyah argues that a law exists that would legally justify postponing the Pilkada which is contained in Law No.6/2020.
"It requires us to consider postponing [the elections] because of the pandemic and can be continued once it has passed. So the situation fulfills the requirement contained in the law," said Hairansyah in a webinar on Thursday, September 17.
Agreeing with the human rights watchdog, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah have also urged the government against holding a mass-event amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We ask for the general elections commission (KPU), government, and the house of representatives (DPR) to postpone holding the simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) until the health emergency is gone," said NU chairman Said Aqil Siroj in public statement on Sunday, September 20.
The NU also suggested the government to reallocate the budget for the Pilkada to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Mu'ti in a virtual press conference maintains that the mass-event such as the elections in multiple provinces may potentially create new coronavirus clusters and goes against the government's commitment to suppress the viral spread.