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Supporting ASN Neutrality During Elections

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By : Barra Dwi Rajendra )*

Elections are an important milestone in the democratic dynamics of a country. In 2024, Indonesia will again hold Simultaneous Elections, a historic moment where the people have the right to elect their leaders and representatives.

For the Bandar Lampung City Government and Metro City Government, preparations began long before voting day. One of the crucial aspects in maintaining election integrity is ensuring the neutrality of the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) within the government environment.

The Regional Secretary of Bandar Lampung City, Iwan Gunawan, took a leading role in the Alert Call and ASN Neutrality Declaration. This rally was held as part of efforts to ensure that ASN within the Bandar Lampung City Government understand and are willing to carry out their role with full responsibility and neutrality during the 2024 Election process.

Iwan Gunawan, firmly and enthusiastically, reminded ASNs of the importance of neutrality in maintaining election integrity. He highlighted the fact that ASN is the front guard in public services, and involvement in practical politics can damage public trust in the government. So, neutrality is a must.

As representatives of the city government, ASN in Bandar Lampung are asked not to get involved in political practices that could influence election results. They must avoid the actions of the white group (abstention), which could hamper the implementation of elections and simultaneous regional head elections.

Instead, they are encouraged to invite the public to exercise their political rights wisely, on February 14 2024, at the designated polling places (TPS).

ASN’s neutrality also includes their attitude towards issues related to intolerance, radicalism, as well as ethnic, racial, religious and inter-group (SARA) activities. The 2024 Simultaneous Election is considered an important moment to increase awareness of this potential threat. In this context, harmonious cooperation with election organizers, TNI, Polri and all components of society is very important.

The Bandar Lampung City Government is also paying serious attention to anticipating problems that could disrupt the election. Prevention efforts must be carried out early to minimize wider impacts.

Law enforcement against election and regional election criminal violations is also emphasized as part of maintaining election integrity. Iwan Gunawan proposed integrated law enforcement (gakkumdu) as a way to ensure election rules are implemented strictly.

Apart from political neutrality, Iwan Gunawan also reminded ASN in Bandar Lampung about the importance of moral commitment and high work discipline. They must provide optimal services to citizens, which is the core of public service duties.

ASN is expected to uphold its identity as an honest, correct and fair law enforcer. This is not only a professional duty, but also a moral calling.

Then, what is no less important is integrity as a law enforcer who is sincere, honest and objective. We hope that the Election Alert Ceremony and the ASN Neutrality Declaration ceremony will be important milestones to strengthen our commitment and duties in ensuring the security and success of the upcoming elections.

The city of Bandar Lampung is not the only entity carrying out similar efforts. The Metro City Government, which is in the same area, is also actively involved in preparations for the 2024 General Election. A rally and Declaration of the Pledge of Neutrality for State Civil Apparatus (ASN) has been held in Metro City, as a form of their commitment to maintaining neutrality during the Election.

The Metro City Government has given warnings and directions to ASN and Contract Workers in their area before the Neutrality Pledge Ceremony was held. They have issued an official circular, number 005/1446/B-06/2023, which regulates the implementation of the Neutrality Declaration for State Civil Servants and Contract Employees within the Metro City Government in the 2024 General Elections and Simultaneous Regional Head Elections.

The circular requires Heads of Regional Apparatus to socialize, implement, and comply with the principles and provisions of ASN neutrality in accordance with the Joint Decree of the Minister for Civil Service Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform, Minister of Home Affairs, Head of the State Civil Service Agency, Chair of the State Civil Apparatus Commission, and Chair of the Supervisory Body General elections.

The Mayor of Metro, Wahdi Siradjuddin, who led the Neutrality Pledge Declaration, emphasized the importance of elections as a manifestation of democracy and people’s sovereignty. Elections allow the people to elect leaders and representatives who will represent the interests of the community for the next five years.

It is hoped that the 2024 Simultaneous Elections will run safely and successfully, so that government and development in Metro City can run well. Wahdi emphasized that support and participation from various parties, including ASN, is the key to realizing these hopes.

In the legal context, Law number 5 of 2014 concerning ASN plays an important role. This law regulates the duties and responsibilities of ASN, including their obligation to provide the best service to the community. More importantly, this law emphasizes the neutrality of ASN from the influence of all political groups and parties.

Neutrality within the framework of the ASN role is an element that cannot be ignored. As individuals dedicated to providing community services, it is important to avoid involvement in political activities that risk damaging public trust and shaking the integrity of the ASN itself. This was stated by the Mayor of Metro, Wahdi.

As an implementation of neutrality, ASN employees are prohibited from providing support to candidates for Regional Head or Deputy Regional Head in a way that could influence the election process. This includes providing a letter of support with a photocopy of the Resident’s Identity Card or Certificate of Resident’s Identity.

In addition, ASN employees may not be involved in campaign activities that support candidates for Regional Head or Deputy Regional Head. You are also not allowed to make decisions or actions that are beneficial or detrimental to one of the candidate pairs during the campaign period.

Head of the Metro City National Unity and Politics Agency (Kesbangpol), Rosita, explained that this effort was not just a formality. He emphasized that this activity was part of concrete steps to ensure that all ASN remained neutral during the elections.

This neutrality declaration has been carried out since February 2023 and involves all Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD) to implement the signature of the ASN Integrity and Neutrality Pact led by the heads of their respective departments.

The signing of this declaration was carried out carefully by various important officials, including the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman of the General Election Commission (KPU), and the Election Supervisory Body. All parties are involved in this process to ensure consistent ASN neutrality during the 2024 elections.

Efforts to maintain the neutrality of ASN during the 2024 elections are a necessity that cannot be ignored. This is not just a formality, but also a manifestation of a shared commitment to maintain the integrity of elections and carry out the democratic process well. The neutrality of ASN is the foundation of an election that is fair and free from unhealthy political influences.

The Bandar Lampung City Government and Metro City Government fully understand that ASN neutrality is the key to success in maintaining election integrity and respecting the sovereignty of the people.

With the concrete steps they have taken, they hope to be an example for other regions in Indonesia in maintaining the neutrality of ASN during the elections. All parties, including ASN, are expected to unite in supporting the safe, peaceful and successful implementation of the 2024 elections.

)* The author is a Contributor to Angkasa Media Satu

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