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Beware of Money Political Practices in the 2024 Election to Realize Clean Politics

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General Elections (Pemilu) are the main pillar in a democratic system, where citizens have the right to elect leaders and representatives of the people. However, in recent years, a serious threat has emerged that could damage the integrity of elections, namely money politics.

Money politics refers to the practice of giving or receiving money illegally or unethically in a political context. In elections, money politics can damage the essence of democracy because it unfairly influences election results. These practices may include vote buying, cash distributions, or giving other gifts to influence voters’ choices.

These threats can lead to the election of incompetent or immoral leaders simply because they have large financial resources. This is detrimental to society because leaders should be chosen based on leadership capacity and vision.

The practice of money politics can create inequality in the electoral process. Financially disadvantaged candidates may have difficulty competing, while wealthy candidates can easily dominate a campaign.

Often this is closely related to corruption. Candidates who receive massive financial support tend to be more susceptible to the influence of certain interest groups, which in turn can lead to abuse of power.

Ahead of the 2024 election, young people and first-time voters are very vulnerable to money politics. The votes of young people are often bought and sold by political parties and elites who are competitors at the 5-yearly democratic party. Regional governments and community coalitions in the regions continue to provide outreach to young people.

The General Election Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu) of Southeast Sulawesi Province (Sultra) stated that novice voters are vulnerable to being incited by the practice of money politics. Chairman of the Southeast Sulawesi Bawaslu, Iwan Rompo Banne, said that the practice of money politics is still a scourge at every moment of contestation in general elections and regional head elections. This is no exception for election violations which will be held on February 14 2024, the practice of money politics still has the potential to occur.

He said that the concern was that first-time voters were being targeted by money politics with the lure of choosing certain candidate pairs for the 2024 democratic party.

The research results show that new voters are very sensitive to being influenced by money politics. One indicator is the lack of political education, especially regarding the system for selecting ideal regional heads.

He said that for this reason, socialization and education about the bad impacts of money politics must be taught as early as possible to novice voters. So, when the time comes to participate in the 2024 elections, they will be able to distinguish between good and wrong political processes.

Coordinator of the Aceh Transparency Society (MaTA), Alfian, said there were several potential corruption and money politics threats to the quality of elections in Aceh. He appealed to election organizers, both the Independent Election Commission (KIP) and the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), to uphold integrity and morality in carrying out their duties.

He added that money politics is the common enemy of all domestic society because it undermines the dignity of the people and sacrifices public interests. Bawaslu, both at the provincial and district/city levels, to be more active and firm in preventing and cracking down on money politics.

Head of Central Java Regional Management of Nahdlatul Ulama (PWNU), KH Munib Abdul Muchit, warned about the dangers of money politics, which is an attempt to influence the choices of election voters with material or other rewards.

Kiai Munib explained that money politics is the ‘mother of corruption’. If the giver is already in office, he will try to return the capital during nomination by means of corruption.

Therefore, all elements of society must be aware of clean politics. Being a smart voter without financial reward is a positive and responsible action. The strategy to overcome this is to do 4 tips.

First, by understanding the issues currently facing the country or regional community. Then the issue is compared with the vision and mission of a legislative candidate to a presidential candidate, whether the candidates understand the issue.

Furthermore, strengthening supervision from election monitoring institutions needs to be empowered and given sufficient resources to monitor and follow up on money politics violations. Strict sanctions also need to be implemented as a deterrent effect. Then, campaign finance transparency needs to be implemented, and public participation in monitoring and reporting money political actions.

Money politics is a serious threat to democracy and election integrity. Being alert to this practice is a collective obligation to ensure that general elections take place fairly and produce leaders who truly represent the will of the people. With education, strict supervision, and active community participation, we can fight money politics and maintain the health of democracy.

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