Regional elections

Kompas – June 17, 2020

Man in boat: Can they still hear our voices?

According to two recent surveys, most Indonesians disagree with the government’s decision to hold the 2020 simultaneous regional elections (Pilkada) on December 9 as uncertainty remains over when the Covid-19 pandemic will end.

Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia interviewed 1,200 respondents across Indonesia from July 13 to 16 on whether the elections should take place during the outbreak.

It found that 63.1 percent of respondents wanted the polls postponed while 34.3 percent said the elections should go ahead as scheduled.

A similar survey by pollster Charta Politika Indonesia involving 2,000 respondents from July 6 to 12 found that 54.2 percent of respondents disagreed with the December poll decision and only 31.8 percent of respondents agreed.

Moreover, half of who support the December poll said they were unsure about whether they would actually show up at polling stations and cast a vote.

“Our survey results indicate that the government and the General Elections Commission will have a difficult job increasing public participation in the coming elections. Otherwise, we will see a low turnout”, Charta Politika executive director Yunarto Wijaya said.

While the two surveys appear to reflect widespread concerns about low voter turnout and worries that it would put voters and election organisers at risk of contracting the disease, the government does not appear to be listening with Home Minister Tito Karnavian saying that democracy should go on despite the outbreak.