Bali’s newly appointed Provincial Chief of Police, Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra, issued 14 specific rules for police conduct for the regional election to be held in Bali on 09 December 2020.
During a ceremony in Jakarta to farewell outgoing Bali Police Chief General Petrus Reinard Golose, the new Bali Chief of Police set forth instructions intended to safeguard Bali’s Constabulary’s neutrality in the period leading up to and including the election (Pilkada).
As reported by NusaBali, the formal written instructions to the Bali Police were contained in an official telegram (Kapolda Bali Nomor STR/752/XI/Ops 1-3/2020) issued on 22 November 2020. The telegrammed instructions ordered members of the Provincial Police to remain neutral and ensure safe and secure regional elections were held in the regencies of Badung, Tabanan, Jembrana, Karangasem, Bangli, and the Capital of Denpasar.
The 14 instructions issued by the Chief of Police were:
- Police are prohibited from declaring support for a regional head and deputy head in the coming 2020 election or display any campaign attributes.
- Police are prohibited from providing, requesting, or distributing promises, gifts, donations, and assistance in any form.
- Police officials are banned from speaking in any campaign event or from promoting or distributing photographs or other images depicting a particular set of candidates via the printed press, electronic media, or social media.
- Police officials are prohibited from posing in photographs with any set of candidates or with their supporters.
- “Selfie” photographs made by police officers and displayed on social media must not show hand gestures using the forefinger and thumb or other fingers in a “V” configuration that could be interpreted as a sign of support for any particular party or set of candidates.
- Police officers are forbidden from doing anything that could be seen as support for any party or candidate.
- Police officers are forbidden from becoming managers for candidates or the “success team” of any set of candidates.
- Police must not establish policies or make decisions that will benefit the interests of specific candidate or a party.
- Police are forbidden from providing any public or private facility to benefit a candidate or party.
- Police are forbidden from participating in any way in a “black campaign” or support a “white campaigns” (“Golput”) that urges members of the public not to vote.
- Police are forbidden to provide any information in connection with the vote count.
- Police officers are forbidden to become part of any committee connected with the coming regional elections (pemilukada), general elections (KPU), or committees to supervise the elections.
- Police must enhance the supervisory function over police activities to detect as soon as possible any involvement or lack of neutrality on the part of the National Police in the coming elections. If violations are detected, police must take decisive action against police officers committing violations during any part of the election process.
- Police officers are ordered to report to their superiors any member of the police violating the regulations and directives regarding regional elections. Supervisors must take precise, decisive, and quick steps to prevent any disturbance to public order having the potential of disrupting the elective process.
The telegram issued by the Bali Provincial Chief of Police also instructed all those working to safeguard the elective process to follow all health protocols in the prevention of new cases of COVID-19. Adding: “If any member of the police force is found to be violating (health protocols), firm disciplinary actions should be taken under the rules.”
The Chief of police reminded family members of police officers assigned to Bali who are members of Bhayangkari that while they have the right to vote, they must also honor police conduct rules during the coming elections. Bhayangkari, a group composed of the family members of active police officers, can influence members of the police and must follow the ethical standards imposed on members of the police force.
Inspector General Drs Putu Jayan Danu Putra formally took command of the Bali Police in a handover ceremony attended by outgoing Inspector General Petrus Reinhard Golose on Friday, 20 November 2020, held at National Police Headquarters in Jakarta.
A formal handover of command will also be held in Bali at a date yet to be determined.