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Indonesia

Pandemic fear escalates as Indonesia kicks off election season

As Covid-19 cases surge, candidates and voters are warned to follow health protocols

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Pandemic fear escalates as Indonesia kicks off election season

Workers wearing protective suits bury a coffin at a burial site for Covid-19 victims in Jakarta on Sept. 11. Indonesia's capital plans to reimpose a partial lockdown over fears that surging coronavirus cases could collapse its under-pressure hospitals. (Photo: AFP)

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Indonesian authorities have officially kicked off the election process with the registration of candidates who will contest leadership posts at the end of the year.

With the coronavirus pandemic far from over, the public was saddened to see many of the power-hungry candidates contravene health rules by mobilizing large crowds of supporters, sparking fears that such gatherings could create a Covid-19 cluster.

Some might call it an exaggeration or a premature claim, but others believe it is a premonition.

The General Election Commission last week opened the doors for candidates to officially log their candidacy for the Dec. 9 polls to elect 270 new leaders, including governors, district heads and mayors, across the Muslim-majority country of 270 million people. 

The upcoming election is being hailed as one of the world’s largest local elections, with an estimated 105 million registered voters going to the polls.

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