(JAKARTA, Indonesia) — The coronavirus outbreak has forced Indonesia to delay its simultaneous regional elections slated for Sept. 23 that would reach more than 100 million of voters.
President Joko Widodo has signed a Government Regulation in Lieu of Law on Monday that regulates the postponement of this year’s elections from September to December or even longer depending on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world’s fourth most populous nation, the official website of the State Secretariat said late Tuesday.
The elections have planned to be held simultaneously in 270 regions across the archipelago nation to elect 9 governors, 37 mayors and 224 district chiefs, with the number of eligible voters reached at least 105 million.
The regulation was issued following the country’s General Election Commission decision to postpone its preparation stages of the regional elections at the end of March after revealing that election organizers have also caught the COVID-19 disease and stakeholders moved to delay the polls.
”Postponing this year’s regional elections was the most viable option to avoid COVID-19 from further spreading to rural areas,” the election authority has said earlier.
Indonesia, which is home to nearly 270 million, has recorded a total of 12,071 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 872 fatalities as of Tuesday afternoon