2020 Pilkada: Regional Elections Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic


About the Webinar

Indonesians will go to the polls on 9 December 2020 to vote for their regional leaders. As many as 734 nominee pairs have registered as candidate pairs for the 2020 Pilkada, which will be held simultaneously in nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities. Among the candidates, there are also 27 solo candidates and 124 candidates related to political families. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the preparation process. Voting was scheduled to take place on September 23, 2020. However, this was postponed to December 9, 2020. In early September, officers from the central and local offices of the General Election Commission (KPU) as well as the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) contracted the virus. Many running candidates have also tested positive during the campaign. In this webinar, three ISEAS researchers will share their observations on the process and reflection of quick count results, focusing on the city of Medan, South Tangerang, and Solo. The three cities arguably can gauge how dynastic politics is at work in Indonesia. They will also examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional election process and outcomes.

About the Speakers

Deasy Simandjuntak is a political anthropologist and Associate Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Visiting Fellow at Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, Academia Sinica, Taipei. She completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Amsterdam, with a dissertation on “patronage democracy”, taking North Sumatra’s local elections as case study. She was post-doctoral fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Leiden, Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University and Freiburg University. Her publications on local elections include “Milk-Coffee at 10 AM: Encountering the State through Pilkada in North Sumatra” in Van Klinken and Barker, State of Authority: The State in Society in Indonesia, Cornell SEAP, 2009 and “Gifts and Promises: Patronage Democracy in a Decentralized Indonesia”, European Journal of East Asian Studies, 2012.

Syafiq Hasyim is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is also a lecturer and director of the Library and Cultural Center at International Indonesian Islamic University (UIII). He obtained MA in Islamic Studies from Leiden University and PhD in Islamic Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies from Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universitaet, Berlin. His latest publications include “Fatwa and Democracy: Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI, Council of Indonesia Ulama) and the Rising Conservatism of Indonesian Islam,” published in TRaNS: Trans-Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, 2019, “The Secular and the Religious: Secularization and Shariatisation in Indonesia,” in Religion, Secularism and Democracy in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2019), edited by Prof. Vidhu Verma, and “Religious Pluralism Revisited: Discursive Patterns of the Ulama Fatwa in Indonesia and Malaysia, published in Studia Islamika, Vol 26, No. 3 (2019).

Made Supriatma is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. His research focus is on Indonesian politics, civil-military relations, and ethnic/identity politics. He has special interests on West Papua especially its history and recent developments. His is also a free-lance journalist. Other than that, he is also an observer of Indonesian popular culture, including traditional pop music and culinary cultures. His article on food culture in Indonesia will appear in the next edition of Prisma, a semi-academic journal published in Indonesia.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Dec 15 2020


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm