The Government Firmly Rejects Postponement of Regional Head Elections
By: Shenna Aprilya Zahra )*
The government firmly rejects the discourse on postponing the Pilkada, which has recently been widely reported in the media. In responding to this, the Government is strongly committed to holding Pilkada according to the schedule mandated by law.
Simultaneous local elections will be held on November 27 2024. Pilkada are to elect regional leaders, namely governors, deputy governors, mayors, deputy mayors, regents and deputy regents. When it is held simultaneously, all Indonesian people elect their respective regional leaders simultaneously.
However, there are parties who ask that the Pilkada be postponed simultaneously. However, this proposal was firmly rejected. Deputy IV of the Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP), Juri Ardiantoro emphasized that the government will continue to carry out the 2024 simultaneous local elections as scheduled. The government remains in accordance with the law’s scenario, that the local elections will be held in November 2024.
The jury added, despite the various complications in its implementation, election organizers should remain focused on adjusting the stages of implementing the 2024 Simultaneous Regional Elections. In addition, election organizers also need to organize resources to deal with overlapping election and regional election schedules.
Meanwhile, regarding the vacancy in the post of regional head, Juri ensured that there would be acting governors and regents/mayors appointed to replace the definitive heads who were entering their retirement period. That way, local government can continue to run as it should.
So, the Pilkada will still be held according to schedule. If there are parties who insist on postponing the Pilkada, they should think about the consequences. First, when the schedule is postponed it will be very difficult to make the next schedule. Moreover, regional elections are held simultaneously throughout Indonesia and must be coordinated with many people, so if the schedule is changed it will be very confusing.
Second, moving the schedule will make the Pilkada budget swell and all pre- to post-election events must be rearranged. The party requesting that the Pilkada be postponed certainly does not want to bear the financial loss.
While the third, in a democratic country, leaders are always elected through an election mechanism by the people as the holders of sovereignty. The term of office of the elected leader is also limited. When there is a postponement of the Pilkada, the leader’s term of office can exceed the limit and violate the law.
Meanwhile, President Jokowi stated that the schedule for holding simultaneous general elections and local elections had been set so that other issues would not arise such as attempts to delay the community. All parties have agreed that the elections will be held on February 14 and that the regional elections will be held in November 2024.
President Jokowi strongly refuses if there are parties who want to postpone the 2024 simultaneous local elections for any reason. The schedule has been made and carefully planned, and it is impossible for a program of this magnitude to change the date at will.
The President also said that on April 12, 2022, the General Elections Commission (KPU) and the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) for the 2022-2027 period will be sworn in to immediately prepare for the 2024 simultaneous elections and local elections. Therefore, the government will immediately discuss various election preparations. and Pilkada with the two institutions.
President Jokowi also asked his staff to immediately finalize the regulatory legal umbrella needed for the 2024 simultaneous elections and local elections. The president also asked the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD to communicate intensely with the Indonesian Parliament and KPU so that the program planning can be detailed so that there are no multiple interpretations.
Elections and Pilkada cannot be carried out due to several reasons, for example when the country is experiencing an emergency, be it a civil emergency, military emergency, war emergency, or disaster emergency (natural and non-natural). However, there are no emergency situations in Indonesia or natural disasters. The pandemic has been declared over, so the Pilkada must be held according to schedule.
When there is a postponement of simultaneous regional elections, it can result in a power vacuum in certain cities, districts or provinces. This could lead to a power vacuum in certain cities or provinces. The power vacuum is a dangerous condition and must be avoided, because it will lead to political instability which will lead to the threat of public security.
Therefore the 2024 Pilkada must be held simultaneously and according to a predetermined schedule. The community also supports the government and KPU to hold Pilkada according to the set schedule. When there are parties who protest, they must think about the losses, because delaying a program as big as the Pilkada will incur a lot of losses.
The government firmly refuses to postpone the simultaneous Pilkada which will be held at the end of 2024. The schedule has been made and it is impossible to postpone it again, because it will result in many losses, especially material losses. Pilkada must be carried out according to plan and the community supports the government for this event to take place successfully.
)* The author is a contributor to Nusantara Reading Room