Jakarta. The Indonesian Solidarity Party, or PSI, congratulated Riza Patria for his election as Jakarta’s deputy governor on Monday, despite six of the party’s eight councilors opting not to cast their votes.
A PSI councilor said they refused to join the Jakarta Legislative Council's plenary session to elect the deputy governor because their demand for a live video streaming was not immediately met.
The PSI has demanded that the election be streamed live so that the media could follow the proceedings without having to enter the room amid the coronavirus pandemic that prompted a social distancing policy.
“A plenary meeting should be held openly, especially when it carries an agenda as important as deputy governor election,” PSI councilor Idris Ahmad said.
Video streaming from the meeting room went live on the Jakarta government’s YouTube account at 10.30 a.m. on Monday, half an hour after the meeting began.
"We all were there at 10 o’clock to make sure there was a live streaming that becomes public rights. Thanks to our efforts, the video streaming was launched but only two out of eight of us were allowed to cast a vote because they both were part of the organizing committee. The rest of us were denied entry," Idris said.
He said the issue came as a serious matter for the PSI because an open election is among key elements of a good democracy.
Idris claimed that just before the meeting began, journalists complained about a lack of access to cover the election. Cell phones were banned in the closed-door meeting.
"We kept pushing for an access and eventually there was a video streaming on YouTube," Idris said.
The PSI accepted the election result and encouraged the council to speed up the works on strategic issues, including the relocation of parts of the city budget for Covid-19 mitigation program, he said.
"We congratulate the elected deputy governor. Hopefully Mr. Riza will be sworn in soon so that he can work on difficult issues facing the capital city including floods, poverty and the coronavirus outbreak,” he said.