Ahead of the simulatenous elections of regional leaders in 2018 and general elections in 2019, politicians and leader candidates will compete to get votes. They are, however, asked not to use issues that may disintegrate society as well as to be ready to win or lose.
This emerged in the Teras Kita dialogue themed Outlook 2018, Indonesia’s Challenge in Political Year in the Senate Hall, UGM, Friday (15/12). It was organised by PP Kagama alumni association and Kompas daily, presenting speakers: political sociology expert from UGM, Dr. Arie Sudjito, economic observer from UGM, Denni Puspa Purbasari, Ph.D., and law professor from UGM, Prof. Dr. Eddy OS Hiariej.
Arie Sudjito saw year 2018 as a year when society can exercise their voting right well. According to Arie, society had followed regional elections well, but it is the mentality of the leader candidates that are not ready for loss and will use any means to win. “The problem was that the mentality of our politicians that are not ready to lose. Election is seen as a phase for grabbing the power so they release the political and moral responsibility,” said Arie.
He expected the General Election Commission (KPU) to play their role by educating politicians as well as voters to minimise abuses in these elections, including racial and faith sentiments as well as money politics. “We need to change the perception on the elections that has been negative to be positive,” he said.
Prof. Dr. Eddy OS Hiarej saw the election constellation next year would heat up because many incumbents would go for the election again. There have been also police reports about indications of corruption done by regional leaders. “We know that the prerequisite for a candidate is to be free from suspect charges. I think this would be a time bomb for the elections,” he said.
Eddy also criticised that violations in terms of money politics cannot be charged under the Anti-corruption Law as it is included in the General Election Law. Hence, corruption perpetrators that will try to gain power are hard to bring to court.
Meanwhile, Denni Puspa Purbasari, Ph.D., said the good and bad of political situation would much support the economy so that a conducive political situation will drive economic growth. “Good economic policy has to be supported politically to be able to run well,” she said.
Chairman of PP Kagama, Ganjar Pranowo, SH., said one of the problems in political constellation is the maturity of leader and politician candidates in politics. “There can be someone who has no ideas but will make up issues on social media. For me, democracy in virtual media has not been clear, even it is worse,” he said.
Ganjar quoted the statement made by US former president, Barack Obama, “‘If you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you’re not going to be able to govern them. You won’t be able to unite them later if that’s how you start.’ So, let’s put first morality and Pancasila values. Don’t be a provocator,” he said.