Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Calls for Rejecting Abstentions Ahead of Elections
Ahead of the 2024 General Election (Pemilu), people are urged not to abstain from voting (white group). They are obliged to vote because it is the right of every Indonesian citizen. Abstentions will potentially fail the election because blank ballot papers can be used by irresponsible persons.
The election is only a few months away. The people are starting to enthusiastically welcome this momentum because they will have a new leader, because President Jokowi’s leadership period will end in 2024. Ahead of the elections, the people are asked to maintain good conduct, especially during the campaign. They are also advised to reject abstentions and are obliged to vote during elections.
The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud MD stated that the public should exercise their right to vote or not abstain from voting in the 2024 elections. 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 don’t 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.
The community is obliged to succeed in the 2024 Election by exercising their right to vote and not abstaining from voting. Don’t be apathetic and then abstain because it will harm yourself. The public is obliged to conduct research on presidential and legislative candidates before voting for them. In this way it will be seen which candidate is the best leader. In this way, they will cancel abstentions, because they understand that those who are elected are quality candidate leaders.
The community is expected to take an active part in elections and increase political literacy. Don’t be pessimistic and then say that whoever the president is, the results are the same, because different leaders must have different results. They must be active in elections and use their right to vote, because it will determine the direction of Indonesia in the future.
Abstentions are not a solution to improve the fate of the nation. The reason is because if many people do not exercise their right to vote, then the future of Indonesia is at stake. There will be many empty ballots because the majority of people decide to abstain from voting because they are skeptical about the condition of the country, are jealous of the government, are angry with officials, etc.
If there are many empty ballots, it will be detrimental because there is the potential for misuse by unscrupulous persons. The ballot could have been pierced with a nail or crossed out with a ballpoint pen, then fraud occurred. The party that is elected is not 100% of the people’s choice.
If the ballot papers are misused then Indonesia’s future is at stake because the party that won the election should not get its position. As a result, the new members of the DPR RI are also not as expected, so that the fate of the nation becomes a big question.
Then, when there is misuse of ballots due to abstentions, there could be mistakes in the presidential election. If the president should be candidate A, then the one elected is candidate B. Indonesia’s future can change, not stagnate, but it may not be any better than before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mahfud continued, it takes maturity and maturity, especially political parties from the elite to the grassroots level (lower level) so that the five-year democratic process runs smoothly and safely. In a sense, political maturity is mandatory for everyone, not only from the top but also all levels of society. One of the attitudes of political maturity is not abstaining from voting.
Meanwhile, the government will not remain silent, but will take precautions so that the number of voters who choose to abstain does not increase. Appeals after appeals were made incessantly by the government and election administrators not to abstain, let alone inviting people to abstain.
The prohibition against inviting golput itself has actually been stipulated in the law, namely Law 8 of 2012 concerning General Elections (Pemilu). There are several articles related to voter participation. Apart from that, there are about two articles that explain threats to those who invite other people to abstain.
The regulation referred to, Article 292 of Law 8/2012 states that anyone who deliberately causes another person to lose their right to vote is subject to imprisonment for a maximum of two years and a fine of up to IDR 24 million. The call not to abstain from abstaining is increasingly echoing ahead of the 2024 election campaign period. People cannot abstain from voting because it will harm Indonesia in the future. Blank ballot papers have the potential to be manipulated by elements so that election results can be misused.