As the 2024 Indonesian general election approaches, conflicts and polarization within the country are increasing.
Since all elections will be held simultaneously, the issue of security during the polls becomes even more urgent. The potential vulnerability to conflict has been examined by three UGM students who conducted a public opinion survey.
“Every segment of society will undoubtedly feel this political year is very different from previous election years,” said Sherlly Rossa, a Politics and Government student who studies this topic, on Tuesday (October 10).
“The enthusiasm during this political year will undoubtedly be accompanied by conflicts arising from fanaticism towards a particular party. The potential for conflict cannot be underestimated.”
According to data from Indonesia’s General Election Supervisory Body, the 2024 election’s Vulnerability Index ranks Yogyakarta as the second-most vulnerable region, with an index of 63.67%.
Sherlly Rossa was joined by Muhammad Sidiq Efendi (Sociology), Lenny Aurelia Amilia (Sociology), Muhammad Ali Syahadah (Regional Development), and Stefanus Ega Panji Panuntun (Communication Science).
This research will compete this year in the Student Creativity Program’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research category. Since the beginning, UGM sociology lecturer Andreas Budi Widyanta has directly mentored the team.
“We intentionally chose this topic because the 2024 election is just around the corner. We want to examine the potential for conflicts. Given that conflicts frequently occurred in previous elections, primarily due to the fanaticism of certain sides,” Rossa added.
The research findings revealed that there are indications that conflicts are triggered by organizations affiliated with political parties.
“Initially, we suspected that ideological differences between the two factions triggered these conflicts, but field findings indicated the presence of formal and informal political economy practices,” Rossa said.
This discovery points to organizations’ tendency to mobilize people to campaign and demonstrate their support for a particular group. The conflicts are primarily motivated by historical, economic, and personal factors.
“One of our informants mentioned that even if you win on the streets, it doesn’t necessarily translate into votes at the polling stations. It’s better to create a program aimed at winning at the polling stations,” she said.
The research findings will be included in a policy brief submitted to the election organizers to help them prepare for next year’s election.