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Public Participation in the 2024 Election Encourages Democratic Progress in Indonesia


By: Gema Iva Kirana)*

In a few months the 2024 elections will be held. The public is encouraged to follow this program in an orderly manner and cast their votes. They are strictly prohibited from abstaining because it will harm themselves. Public participation in elections includes more than just voting at the voting booth. This includes involvement in the entire electoral process, from the voter registration stage to political campaigning, election monitoring and evaluation of results. Elections will bring about the progress of democracy in Indonesia, and bring this country in a better direction.

Elections (general elections) are held every 5 years. The people are waiting for him with enthusiasm, because they want to find a new candidate for leader, and are nervous because they are guessing who will replace President Jokowi? Since the reform era, Indonesian citizens have been free to choose their own presidential candidate.

Elections must be prepared from now so that later it will run well. All elements of society synergize to create peaceful elections and support the government, KPU and all other parties. Peace must be maintained so that elections take place smoothly without any riots.

The public is encouraged to participate in a polite campaign and vote on election day. Political observer Budiardjo states that public participation in politics (including elections) is an activity to participate actively in political life, by electing state leaders, and directly or indirectly influencing government policies.

Conventionally political activities include actions such as voting in general elections, attending general meetings, being a member of a party or interest group, making approaches or relationships with government officials or members of parliament and so on.

Ideally, the community participates in determining government policy, which is part of the community’s control over government policy. This will uphold Indonesian democracy, where the people have the power to advise and criticize the government. Then, democracy is also carried out by holding elections, because the people are given the right to choose their own leaders.

Elections are considered as the main indicators of a democratic country, because in elections the people use their voices, exercise their political rights and make their choices directly and freely.

The increasing involvement of the community in the holding of elections shows the strengthening of the democratic order in a country. In a democracy, the involvement of the people in every administration carried out by the state is a necessity. 

For this reason, holding elections as a means of implementing democracy, of course, cannot be separated from the involvement of the community. Therefore all Indonesian people aged 17 years and over are urged to be orderly and cast their right to vote during the election. This is to maintain the upholding of Indonesian democracy.

Since 1945 Indonesia is a democratic country. However, it was only after the gates of reform were opened (in 1998) that democracy and freedom were truly given to the people. They can elect the president directly, unlike before voting for a party. The people must not waste this opportunity, therefore they must take part in the General Election and cannot abstain from voting (white group).

Abstentions is a designation for voters who do not use their rights. This phenomenon of abstentions exists in every general election. However, in the upcoming 2024 election, people are urged not to abstain from voting because it is detrimental to themselves.

The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud MD stated that the people exercised their right to vote or not abstain from voting in the 2024 Election. This was conveyed by Mahfud in the online Integrated Law Enforcement Center (Gakkumdu) Discussion Forum. 

Mahfud said, no human being is perfect as well as a potential leader. Every prospective leader must have a good side and a bad side. If there is an opinion that all prospective leaders are bad, he invites the public to continue to vote in this democratic party every five years. He appealed to the public to choose a leader who has less ugliness than other leaders.

The people will lose themselves if they do not participate in elections, because elections do not seek good leaders, but prevent worse people from leading. A good candidate for leader does not only listen to the aspirations of his group, which only makes use of electoral politics and identity politics, but is able to listen to the aspirations of the people well.

Increasing public participation is very important in the implementation of general elections in the process of selecting members of the legislature and executive. However, the community has a fairly large share in the general election process where the community as voters determines the winner in the general election process. It is the government’s responsibility to involve stakeholders, and it is hoped that regular outreach will reduce the number of abstentions during elections.

Public participation in elections must be increased because this program is important for the future of Indonesia. Elections are a way to elect a president, so that the people can elect their own leaders while at the same time upholding democracy. They are strictly prohibited from abstaining from voting because it will harm themselves and damage the democratic order in Indonesia.

)* Author contributor to Persada Institute

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