Revision efforts regarding the current election law provoked some controversy. There are pro and cons parties against the revision of the Election Law.
Some pro parties who supported revision of the Election Law at least argue that when the elections such as regional elections, legislative elections, and presidential elections are simultaneously organized in 2024, there are worries that there will be 271 temporary governors or regents/mayors in some regions. Besides, it is also worried that when there are simultaneous legislative elections, regional elections, and presidential elections, it will confuse the voters, as happened in 2019 where there were five ballots given to the voters. This condition confused the public regarding the election flow.
On the other hand, parties who have cons with the Election Law revision argue that the revision shows inconsistency. Every time there is an election, an effort is needed to revise the Election Law. It should be enough to evaluate the previous administration's technicalities rather than periodically revising the Election Law.
Dr. Rer. Pol. Mada Sukmajati, as UGM political and election observer, mentioned that it sounded reasonable if every revision of Election Law causes a commotion. He added that this condition should not need to be worried cause it means the Indonesian political system is still democratic.
"This indicates that in the context of a very pluralist public policy-making process, it is not a cartel which certain groups only dominate. So, we hope that this complex process can be effective and efficient so that the Election Law's formulation will not be hurried and are close to steps. Since the one who needs preparation for the election is not only organizers, but participants also need preparations with designs that are distinct from the previous election organizing designs," he said on Monday (8/2).
Seeing from a political perspective, Mada believed that the on-going narrative process indicated that the parties who obtained a huge number of votes and seats in the DPR tend to support regional elections in 2024. While mediocre parties or several smaller parties prefer to support the implementation of regional head elections in 2024. 2022 and 2023.
The organization of regional elections simultaneously with the legislative and presidential elections in 2024 could be perceived as mediocre parties' attempts in entering into the major parties' electoral trap. Mediocre or small parties assume that perhaps their candidates had a small chance of winning the elections in the organization of simultaneous elections for regional elections, legislative elections, and presidential elections in 2024.
Hence, it is quite common for small parties to counter the major parties' electoral trap. These minor parties' efforts are closely related to mediocre parties' presence, especially for the regional elections. If they lose in the presidential and legislative elections, they can still hope to win in another regional elections arena.
"So, in my perspective, those dynamic processes give colors to the difference in these elections, so that it may sound rowdy," he explained.
Mada maintained concerning whether or not the revision is done. It was necessary to conduct an evaluation first related to the implementation of elections in Indonesia during this time, including the simultaneous elections in 2019.
"After evaluation results were conducted, it then can be proceeded to revise. We will remain good experiences with us. However, there would also be new additional changes in our elections. That is the basis for revising the Election Law," he explained.
Ideally, there should be at least three times comprehensive evaluations in the election system. If necessary, amend it to the Constitution level because the regulation on the presidential election is not only at the Election Law, including the two-round Presidential Election, but also at the Constitution's level.
"I need a comprehensive evaluation. If the consequence is at the Constitution level, let's do it because part of our Election Law's design is regulated in the Constitution. Not only at the level of the law but also the Constitution. This idea is a thing that I convey frequently, and there had not been a response regarding the simultaneous dimension. However, surprisingly, we have two-rounds of the presidential election, so how come," he continued.
Thus, if there would be simultaneous elections again, there should be the simplest system. The presidential election and regional elections system use a single majority, while the legislative election system is closed.
"All of these will make us easier. Do not let these complex systems complicate us if we want to make simultaneous elections. I think this opinion can be an essential consideration. If you want to organize simultaneous elections in the same period, choose the simplest way for each preference of the election," he added.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A