Jakarta. The National Police are gearing up in preparation for high-profile events in the country next year, including the simultaneous regional elections, the 2018 Asian Games and the annual meeting between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
"We see security risks in the upcoming regional elections. Polarization during elections is an essential part of democracy to elect a leader, but on the other hand it’s also a source of division in society, so there is potential for conflict," National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said during a press conference in Jakarta on Friday (29/12).
In June, voters in 17 provinces will elect governors, district chiefs and mayors. Tito said the police will work closely with the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to secure each district.
While security risks will depend on the candidates – who will be officially announced in early February for the regional elections and in August for presidential elections – Tito said that there a number of provinces that are at a higher risk, including West Java, West Borneo and Central Java.
With election years ahead, Tito urged all members of society to play a role in keeping the situation as conducive as possible. This includes the police, TNI and religious and public figures, as well as the media.
"Avoid provocative and sensitive issues, don’t sacrifice unity for political ambitions," Tito said, adding that he expects active public participation to ensure security and public order in the country.
In addition, the 2018 Asian Games in August, as well as the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in October, also pose their own security risks.
Fifteen thousand participants from 45 countries are expected to attend the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and in Palembang, South Sumatra.
"The participation of Myanmar and North Korea may be a potential target for radical or terrorist groups," Tito said.
The IMF-World Bank annual meeting, which will take place in Nusa Dua, Bali, is expected to draw in 15,000 participants from 189 countries. Similarly, Tito said the United States and Israel’s participation in the meeting also poses a security threat.
Successful organization of the two international events, therefore, is on top of the list of priorities for the National Police next year.