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Election Participants are Obligated to Uphold Legal Sovereignty and Unity

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All election participants and all elements of society are asked to always uphold national unity and unity during the election period. With this spirit of national unity, it is hoped that national divisions due to political differences can be avoided.

Indonesia, a country based on the Pancasila democratic system, will soon face the General Election (Pemilu) in 2024. In the next few months, the Indonesian people will again have the right to elect the President, Legislative Members and Members of the Regional Representative Council (DPD).

However, the 2024 elections are not just national elections, but also simultaneous regional head elections (Pemilu Kada) which will be held in November 2024. The General Election Commission (KPU) has seriously prepared itself to organize this election process well, maintaining democracy. run smoothly, and give the people the right to choose a leader.

As the 2024 Election approaches, we need to reflect together on whether the democratic system currently running in Indonesia is truly in accordance with the principles of Pancasila Democracy which is the foundation of this country.

These principles are the foundation for a healthy democratic life, and serious consideration needs to be taken to ensure that the democratic system adopted is in accordance with the values ​​set out in Pancasila.

Democracy is an important instrument in realizing government goals originating from, by and for the people. Legal Practitioner and Observer of Socio-Cultural Politics, Agus Widjajanto, SH, MH, firmly underlines the importance of a representative democratic system. This is a way for the interests and will of citizens to remain the primary consideration in political decision making, represented by the leaders they elect through general elections.

Pancasila democracy is a form of constitutional democracy implemented in Indonesia. This means that general elections (Pemilu) are the main mechanism for expressing people’s sovereignty.

All of this is based on the 1945 Constitution, which is the legal basis for this country. As a democratic country based on Pancasila, its implementation must also be in accordance with the values ​​of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

These principles are in line with major ideas in the world of political philosophy, including the thought of Plato and Aristotle. According to Plato, the state must be based on law and justice.

He observed the condition of his country which was led by an authoritarian leader and voiced the importance of justice in the country. Aristotle also stated that a state based on law is a state that can guarantee justice for its citizens. In both views, fair law is the main foundation of the rule of law.

Agus Widjajanto emphasized that law and democracy are very closely related. There cannot be a healthy democracy without just laws.

The principle of the supremacy of law and legal sovereignty itself is rooted in the sovereignty of the people given to their representatives, especially the leaders and members of the People’s Representative Council (DPR).

In line with this view, the importance of maintaining law in the country becomes increasingly clear. The law must comply with the constitution and must be the commander in chief in running the country.

The rule of law is a concept that upholds law as the main foundation in a country’s social and political order. This is not only the duty of law enforcement, but also the obligation of all citizens to ensure the continuity of law and justice.

However, unfortunately, in many cases, even in democratic countries, power is often dominated by oligarchs. Oligarchy is a term that refers to the dominance of a small group that has great power and influence in political decisions. Agus Widjajanto explained several factors that encourage the emergence of oligarchy in a democratic system.

First, there are main figures in the political party elite who determine many political decisions. They often reflect the party’s ideology and history, and their presence is powerful in decision-making.

Second, there is financial dependence on party financial resources which are often owned by elite party members. This dependency creates a dynamic where political parties must follow the financial interests of this small group to support the continuity of their party.

Third, the condition of party institutionalization is not yet perfect. Many political parties still refer to party elites in the decision-making process. This creates inequality where decisions that should reflect the wishes and interests of the people become controlled by a small group of people within the party.

Lastly, external factors also play an important role. These external factors can come from outside the party, such as the influence of interest groups or political lobbies that have special goals. In some cases, these external factors can threaten the integrity of political parties and the democratic process as a whole.

In this context, it is important to note that Jeffrey A. Winters differentiates oligarchy into two dimensions. First, there is an oligarchy based on the unlimited power of capital.

 They can control nodes of power through financial influence. Second, there are oligarchies who operate within a systemic power framework, which refers to power structures that are interconnected and influence each other.

If oligarchy dominates the political process, the voice of the people, which was originally the voice of God, becomes marginalized. Concentrated power in a small group of people can cause people to feel neglected and lose faith in the democratic process.

This can create apathy in society towards politics and democracy, and if this happens, then the principles of democracy and the rule of law can be threatened.

Therefore, in facing the 2024 elections, all parties involved in the political process must always respect and listen to the voice of the people as the voice of God.

This concept is known as “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which means “Voice of the People, Voice of God.” The people’s voice must be respected and be the main factor in making political decisions. That is the essence of popular sovereignty in a democratic system.

However, it is not only politics that must play an active role in maintaining strong democratic principles. This also applies to law enforcement agencies, especially the Constitutional Court (MK), which will handle the 2024 election dispute.

The head of the Constitutional Court, Anwar Usman, is in the spotlight because of the potential conflict of interest in handling the PHPU case involving his nephew, Gibran Rakabuming, who is running as Prabowo Subianto’s vice presidential candidate.

In answering the normative question about whether he would step down from handling the PHPU case, Anwar emphasized that his task was to work in accordance with the Constitutional Court’s procedural law and comply with the constitution. However, potential conflicts of interest in handling PHPU cases is an issue that must be considered seriously.

Prof. Enny Nurbaningsih, MK judge, also expressed his view that the PHPU case involving Gibran has not yet occurred, so it does not need to be questioned at this time.

However, he gave a guarantee that the Constitutional Court would try this case as best as possible, referring to previous experience in handling PHPU. This process will be transparent and open to the public, so that justice and transparency in handling election disputes is maintained.

The importance of fair and transparent handling of election disputes is the essence of a healthy democratic process. Conflicts of interest in handling disputes need to be carefully scrutinized, and action in accordance with procedural law must be taken to maintain the integrity of democracy and the institutions involved.

Elections are the foundation of democracy, and democracy is the spirit of Pancasila. Therefore, maintaining strong democratic principles is our shared duty, and that also means ensuring that any potential conflicts of interest are addressed wisely in the interests of the country and the people.

In facing the 2024 Election, we are reminded of the importance of upholding the principles of Pancasila Democracy which underlines the importance of deliberation and consensus for the welfare of the people.

All parties, from election organizers to law enforcement agencies, need to uphold integrity and transparency in an effort to maintain the essence of democracy and the rule of law that we adhere to.

The voice of the people is the voice of God, and shared justice must always be prioritized in our journey towards the 2024 Election. Ensuring that our democracy remains in accordance with the values ​​of Pancasila, and that the people remain the main focus in making political decisions, is our shared responsibility in maintaining foundation of Indonesian democracy.

The success of the 2024 elections will be a reflection of the extent to which we are able to maintain and strengthen democratic principles in this country.

)* The author is a Vimedia Pratama Institute Contributor

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