Festivities of Democracy

Festivities of Democracy
Willy Kurniawan/Reuters

Written by Achmad Cholis Hamzah

Indonesia has experienced various elections since the first general election in 1955 until now, and this is a long democratic process for the Indonesian people. Some argue that the 1955 election was a very democratic election and continued in subsequent elections starting in 1971 after the New Order era (Orba) was formed. The public still remembers that in the general election during the Orba era, people witnessed how tense an election was. Hundreds of trucks, buses, thousands of motorcycles full of party supporters screamed like football fans. There are frequent frictions - mutual mockery, fights between supporters of political parties. In the northern coastal area of Central Java, for example, there are often fights between supporters of two political parties. There are also frequent accidents, all of which take the lives of political party supporters. People generally avoid when there is a convoy of political parties, avoiding places where there are political campaigns, is really scary general election. itu.

But now, gradually the people are maturing into democracy, the methods of convoys that cause friction have been eliminated. Now people are used to the candidate debate model as it exists in developed countries. Meeting with candidates, people see candidates in markets, hospitals, orphanages etc. seeking support. People can also see the quality of the candidates when debating.

Because of the long experience of the Indonesian people in democracy, the world recognizes Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world after the United States and India. The people are no longer tense in facing various elections from local, provincial up to Presidential Election, instead welcoming it cheerfully. Election observers from abroad were surprised by the many colors at the polling station, where polling station officers wore various clothes, some wore batik uniforms, some wore traditional clothes, and some wore wayang costumes.

There is no more tension at polling stations where each candidate's supporters or political parties are suspicious of each other. That's why there are foreign observers who call it the "Festivities of Democracy" or the largest Democracy Party in the world. This 2024 democratic festivities will take place at 823,220 Polling Stations that spread over: 820,161 Domestic Polling Stations and 3,059 Overseas Polling Stations.  The General Elections Commission has set the 2024 Eligible Voter List of 204,807,222 voters.

General elections are scheduled to be held in Indonesia on 14 February 2024 to elect the PresidentVice PresidentPeople's Consultative Assembly  which consists of the House of Representative  and the Senators as well as members of local legislative bodies. The newly elected members of the People's Consultative Assembly  will be sworn in on 1 October 2024, while the elected President and Vice President will be sworn in on 20 October 2024. Incumbent President Joko Widodo is ineligible to run for a third term due to the term limits established by the Indonesian constitution.

Therefore, the festivities of democracy should not be transformed into a tense, tense atmosphere as happened in various countries whose elections were colored by anarchist actions and the narratives of government officials who contributed to the tension.

Recently, a viral video lasting 0:52 minutes from Home Minister Tito Karnavian (former chief of Indonesian National Police) that circulated in several media is really very surprising. Moreover, in it there is a narrative that the vice president could have received death threats. Netizens asked, Whether, "Warnings, Threats or Orders to the sniper to carry out executions," they said. Of course, there has been public curiosity as to why Home Minister Tito suddenly spread such fear? Who is this addressed to? Because there are at least three presidential candidates in the 2024 presidential election contestation. Namely Presidential Candidate Number 1 Anies Rasyid Baswedan, Number 2 Prabowo Subianto, and Number 3 Ganjar Pranowo. Who is the warning addressed to?

Although Tito gave a warning associated with the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was giving a speech at a campaign event in the Nara City area, Japan, the narrative and warning, clearly aimed at certain presidential candidates in Indonesia. Just to remember, former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot on Friday (07/08/2022) morning local time. The shooting took place in the Nara City area. Shinzo Abe was rushed to hospital at 11:54 a.m. and treated by doctors. Shinzo Abe was pronounced dead on Friday afternoon. In a report by Japanese media NHK, Abe was giving a political speech at 11:30 local time. Suddenly there was a gunshot that made him fall and bleed.

However, public in general do hope that the coming presidential election should be held in democratic way and in festivities mode.

Thank you for reading until here