Regional elections in 43 regions will be pushed back until after the presidential election in 2014, the home affairs minister said on Wednesday.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said regional elections for governors, district heads and mayors would be held eight to nine months after the national legislative election and the presidential election, to prevent voter apathy that might arise from too many elections in a short period of time.
He said the General Elections Commission (KPU) had scheduled the national legislative election for April 2014 and the presidential election for June 2014.
“Having too frequent elections, including the regional, legislative and presidential elections, will bore people, since that would be three elections in one year,” he said. “Therefore, it [regional elections] should be moved to 2015.”
Gamawan said regional leadership positions should not be left vacant if an incumbent’s term expired before the election. In that case, he said, the Home Affairs Ministry would appoint a temporary acting regional head and deputy.
“Incumbents shouldn’t be able to extend their tenures so that it’s fair,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Reydonnyzar Moenek said two gubernatorial elections, in East Java and Lampung provinces, would be affected by the decision to push back regional elections, along with 41 district and municipal elections.
He added that according to a law governing the appointment and discharge of regional leaders, no regional elections could be held within six months leading to legislative and presidential elections.