COVID-19 and Elections: Indonesian Election CSOs recommend factors to consider on election postponements
With Indonesia postponing the local elections scheduled for 23 September 2020 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, several election civil society organizations recommended factors to consider on declaring election postponements.
Election CSOs composed of ANFREL members Perludem and KIPP Indonesia (Independent Committee for Elections Monitoring Indonesia), with the People's Voter Education Network, recognized that the postponement was “general necessity and is without any ill-intention to harm Indonesian democracy.” However, to avoid abuse in the future, they said postponements should be constitutional, transparent, and the agenda for the resumption of elections should be clear.
Postponements should follow the rule of law in that the time for postponing elections must be set in legal principle answering when and how long an election should be postponed and which parts of the electoral processes are suspended, as well as when they will resume.
Proper legal guidance on how to realign resources, both financial and manpower, should also be clear to minimize waste of resources and ensure transparency and accountability in the utility of resources.
The organizations also said that “all public decision-making processes must ensure that all stakeholders are well consulted, especially in a delicate situation such as an electoral postponement.”
Finally, they said, “any declaration of postponement must imperatively be accompanied by a timeline of when election processes will resume.”
More than 100 million Indonesians were expected to participate in the local election where nine governors, 224 regents, and 37 mayors were to be elected. In Asia, Sri Lanka has postponed and rescheduled its Parliamentary election while South Korea recently concluded its parliamentary election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ THE FULL ASSESSMENT HERE: “COVID-19 and Democracy Series: Accountable Electoral Postponement | Lessons learned from Indonesia”Assessment and Guideline Electoral Postponement - Indonesia CSOs Assessment (4)
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the election cycle in many countries as much as it has affected the livelihood of people and restricted freedoms they enjoy. The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is putting together resources, analyses, and other information through our COVID-19 and Elections special. Follow updates here: https://anfrel.org/tag/covid-19-and-elections/