Jakarta. The electoral commission in Pati, Central Java, said it will go ahead with staging a debate before its district head election even though only one set of candidates will contest it.
Joko Purnomo, chairman of the Central Java Election Commission, or KPUD, said incumbent governor Haryanto and his running mate Saiful Arifin will run unopposed in the Feb. 17 election.
"The commission will still stage a debate on Feb. 5, where the candidates will field questions from a panel," Joko said in Semarang on Thursday (12/11), as reported by state news agency Antara.
Pre-election debate is mandatory according to the 2016 Regional Election Law, even in regions where only one set of candidates is contesting the poll.
When that happens, according to the regulation voters can choose either to elect or reject the sole nominees, a system locally known as "bumbung kosong (empty bamboo)."