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Political Differences Should Not Lead to Division


By: Maya Naura Lingga )*

The 2024 election is in sight and the campaign period is just around the corner. Society is expected to remain united despite having different political views. Political differences should not cause divisions, because Indonesia must be peaceful even though there are supporters of different parties and presidential candidates.

Election is a grand event that is held every 5 years and the people are waiting for it with enthusiasm, because they want to get a new leader candidate. Since the reform era, Indonesian citizens have been freed to choose their own presidential candidate, not the way they used to vote for parties and candidates. Elections are thrilling events because the results can be beyond predictions.

All people are asked to maintain peace and harmony between people ahead of the election. One of the most vulnerable in elections is the difference in political choices. Deputy President KH Ma’ruf Amin stated that differences in views and political choices in the 2024 elections would not cause divisions among the people because of the strong ties of brotherhood. 

The Vice President continued, Elections have been agreed upon in Indonesia, so that people can address differences in political choices with a big heart. Elections have happened many times, which means they are used to it. The legowo attitude is needed in facing elections, because this is an agreed system in the administration of the state that there should be no hostility arising from differences in political views. Differences are a natural thing and can be addressed wisely.

In a sense, even though there are differences in political views, party choices, or presidential candidates (candidates), all Indonesian people must be peaceful. There should not be divisions among citizens just because they defend a different presidential candidate.

Society must reflect on the 2014 and 2019 elections where there was almost a split into two camps. At that time there was a commentary war on social media and one party called the other party rude names. There should be no more divisions like this for the sake of the success of the 2024 Election.

Elections are thrilling events because the results can be beyond predictions. Since the reform era, Indonesian citizens have been freed to choose their own presidential candidate, not the way they used to vote for parties and candidates. However, this freedom does not mean that free people also insult each other when there are different political views, because unity must be maintained.

Remember that united we stand divided we fall. Do not let differences in political views be used by provocateurs so that social media heats up and creates a war of comments ( twit-war ). Even though it is ‘only’ on social media, comments must be guarded, because there is the ITE Law which can ensnare people who comment negatively and curse other people who have different political views.

Meanwhile, Nuryakin, Regional Secretary for Central Kalimantan, stated that MUI is expected to foster people and maintain tolerance, especially ahead of the 2024 elections.

Nuryakin added, Central Kalimantan has been harmonious and peaceful and has a Huma Betang philosophy, which means prioritizing honesty and consensus deliberation. Therefore, he asked the MUI and all other parties to help maintain peace ahead of the elections, so that there would be no riots that would hurt the people of Borneo.

It is hoped that in the implementation of the 2024 Election with various differences in choices and political views it will not disrupt the relationship and harmony in society. This difference is very natural as the implementation of democracy.

MUI was asked to bridge the differences in society. Even though there are groups that support different legislative candidates or presidential candidates, there shouldn’t be any clashes. Therefore, the task of the MUI clerics is to appeal to their followers to remain calm and not to be provoked by provocateurs who could deliberately disrupt the election.

The scholars from the MUI have great influence in society and they are respected by many people. The clerics preached with gentleness and invited the ummah to support all kinds of government programs, including the 2024 Election. If the clerics call for it, the people will obey because for them the words of the ulema are obligatory to follow.

When MUI scholars invite people to maintain peace before the election, there will be no fights over the issue of SARA. Issues of ethnicity, religion, race, and intergroups are very sensitive, especially when there is an  unfounded statement  that a presidential candidate must be of a certain faith and ethnicity. MUI scholars are expected to maintain peace and defuse wild issues like that.

In order to make the 2024 election successful, the commitment of various parties is needed because the KPU cannot work alone. It needs support from the community, ministries and security forces so that the elections run smoothly and peacefully. If the election goes smoothly, it will be profitable because there are no fraudulent dramas or even heartbreaking tragedies that accompany the 2024 election procession.

Differences in political views, parties and presidential candidates, should not cause divisions. The community is urged to maintain peace in Indonesia. This country is a democratic country so when there are other people whose political choices are different, it must be respected.

)* The author is a contributor to Nusantara Reading Room

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