Jakarta — The General Elections Commission (KPU) has officially barred gubernatorial and other regional election (Pilkada) candidates from mentioning topics related to the 2019 presidential election during a candidate’s debate. KPU commissioner member Wahyu Setiawan stated that the regulation was introduced to prevent commotions from building-up in a public debate, which has happened once during the West Java Gubernatorial Election debate.
“The rules must be obeyed to prevent blunders that happened previously,” said Wahyu in a phone interview with Tempo. Furthermore, Wahyu said that the KPU has also partnered with police personnel to secure future regional election debates. The presence of police members has been a standard procedure for any electoral debate. “It’s police’s authority,” he said.
The commotion that happened at the previous Gubernatorial debate took place University of Indonesia, which was appointed as the venue for the public debate, on May 15. Candidates Sudrajat – Syaikhu who were endorsed by Indonesia’s opposition party Gerindra displayed a t-shirt with a writing “Astonishing win in 2018, change the presidency in 2019” that was in line with the known political social media hash tag #2019GantiPresiden that literally translates to ‘presidential change in 2019,’ introduced by Gerindra politician.
The pair’s demeanor angered the supporters of opposing candidate TB Hasanudin-Anton Charliyan and considered Sudrajat’s move to be provocative and should be considered as an illegal campaign for the 2019 presidential election in a regional election debate event.