The Important Role of Political Elites to Prevent Polarization in the 2024 Election
By: Ahmad Dzul Ilmi Muis)*
The political elites have a very important role to be able to continue working to prevent the possibility and potential for polarization in the upcoming 2024 general election. The reason is, they are role models for people in Indonesia to continue to spread messages of peace by committing to guarding elections in a cool and conducive manner.
The General Chairperson (Ketum) of the Democratic Party, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) said that between his party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) they had mutually agreed to hold a democratic party and political contestation, namely the holding of General Elections (Pemilu) in the upcoming 2024 can run peacefully, not until divisions and polarization occur among the people of the country.
Furthermore, according to him, basically the Democratic party itself is a religious nationalist party, so they also have a strong commitment to be able to continue to maintain differences in various matters such as ethnicity, race to religion in society.
The commitment to continue to maintain unity even in the midst of differences is also in accordance with the motto set by the founders of the nation, namely the idea of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika because indeed Indonesia itself is a nation consisting of very high diversity with many different backgrounds in its people.
Thus, it is very important for the community not to be easily divided by the presence of any issue, thereby creating horizontal tension or polarization. Moreover, the closer the 2024 Election contestation is, the political temperature in the country has started to heat up, so the public should not be easily influenced by any issues that smell of SARA.
Likewise, not only for the community, but also for the political elites themselves, they should also be able to continue to work together to prevent polarization from occurring, by implementing campaign patterns that do not involve any SARA issues in society at all.
Because, without a campaign using identity-smelling narratives, it also creates a clean, honest and fair contestation. The reason is that the contestation that occurs will support the implementation of democracy in Indonesia with much higher quality, namely by purely contesting using each other’s ideas without being accompanied by any issues.
Indeed, previously a number of elite political parties (Parpol) in Indonesia themselves have also expressed their strong commitment to be able to jointly prevent polarization from occurring and recurring in society, especially at the holding of the event every 5 (five) years.
It was previously known that there had been an agenda meeting between the two major party elites in Indonesia, namely Puan Maharani and AHY. With the agenda for the meeting, PDI Perjuangan Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto explained that the dialogue that took place between the two parties was carried out constructively.
Of course, with the dialogue that has been carried out, it is able to open up a much wider communication space, with the aim of continuing to discuss various matters regarding the interests of the nation and state in the future.
Separately, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party, Teuku Riefky Harsya, himself realized that his party and PDI Perjuangan had different political views. However, the meeting between Puan and AHY can also be a strong foundation to be able to prevent possible divisions and also clashes between fellow citizens in the face of the upcoming 2024 Election.
On one occasion, the General Chairperson of the National Awakening Party (Ketum PKB), Muhaimin Iskandar or commonly known as Cak Imin stated that he had a strong commitment to be able to participate and play an active role in preventing polarization. What’s more, for him, efforts to prevent polarization in society cannot materialize at all if they are only carried out normatively, so they must be accompanied by a joint solid commitment. How could it not be, because with this principled and fundamental commitment, it also makes a collective determination.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra Secretary General), Ahmad Muzani also considered that democracy in the country itself must be able to become a solution to the existence of necessary differences in society.
He advised, to be able to realize that democratic values become a solution for differences in society, then democracy itself, especially events of political contestation cannot only be used as a tool to solely gain power.
Precisely if all parties continue to commit to jointly realizing modern democracy in Indonesian society, then the application of these principles will be able to become a solution to all problems, including one of which is the problem of polarization.
To be able to continue working to prevent the possibility and potential for polarization in the implementation of the 2024 General Election, it is also very important that the role of political party elites, because they are an example or role model for people in Indonesia to continue spreading messages of peace.
)* The author is an alumnus of FISIP Unair