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Face the 2024 Election with a Spirit of Unity Without Politicization of SARA


Peaceful and dignified elections can be realized if all parties work together to avoid the politicization of ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup (SARA). The values of national unity and unity must be upheld, as well as mutual respect for differences. The 2024 election is just days away. This democratic party is an important moment for the Indonesian people to choose the best leader. However, behind the excitement of welcoming the election, we also have to be wary of the potential for politicization of SARA.

President Joko Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin have emphasized the importance of avoiding the politicization of SARA in the election process. They underlined that the politicization of SARA is a detrimental action and can divide the nation, so it must be avoided at all costs.

President Joko Widodo emphasized that the election should be considered a democratic celebration that brings joy to all Indonesian people. However, this joy must be protected from the influence of SARA politicization which can damage harmony and unity in society.

Meanwhile, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin emphasized that the politicization of SARA is a crime that must be punished. The Vice President emphasized that maintaining national unity and unity must be the main priority, and the politicization of SARA must not be allowed to run rampant at every stage of the election.

The politicization of SARA in the election context can refer to various actions, such as spreading sensitive issues that have the potential to trigger SARA conflicts. This can trigger societal polarization and disrupt the election process which should take place peacefully and fairly.

It is important to understand that the politicization of SARA is not only a matter of political ethics, but threatens the stability and sustainability of democracy in Indonesia. Therefore, hard efforts must be made by all parties, from the government, political parties, mass media, to society, to prevent the politicization of SARA in elections.

The community plays an important role in upholding the spirit of national unity and unity, by not being easily provoked by SARA issues which are often only used for narrow political interests. Quality political education and increasing awareness of the importance of maintaining harmony between fellow citizens need to continue to be improved.

In the legal realm, the KPU has issued KPU Regulation Number 3 of 2022 concerning the 2024 Simultaneous Election Campaign. This regulation, which is part of the preparations for the 2024 Simultaneous Election, has the main focus on prohibiting campaigns that contain SARA elements.

When entering the election campaign stage, the question of how to create a campaign that is inclusive and without discrimination becomes increasingly important. This KPU regulation marks an effort to direct the campaign process in a more positive direction, minimize rhetoric that triggers conflict, and encourage more substantial political participation.

One of the main implications of this regulation is the need for campaign participants to be more careful in formulating their messages. Not only must they pay attention to legal compliance, but also understand the social impact of every statement they make. This regulation sends a strong signal that SARA should not be part of a legitimate campaign strategy.

There are challenges in implementing the rules prohibiting the use of SARA issues in the 2024 elections, and this is a major concern. How to determine clear boundaries between what is considered an “element of SARA” and what is still considered an expression of freedom of opinion is not an easy task. In fact, monitoring and enforcing these regulations will be a crucial aspect in ensuring the effectiveness of these regulations.

In addition, while the ban on SARA elements is a positive step, it should not hinder substantial discussion of issues that are important to society. Elections are a time when various issues and needs in society are presented to candidates, and these restrictions must be implemented carefully so as not to hinder healthy discussion.

In supporting the implementation of elections free of SARA issues, Bawaslu has formed a special team to monitor the potential for politicization of SARA in the 2024 elections. This team will focus on monitoring social media and campaigns in the field. Likewise, the National Police has stated that it is ready to take firm action against perpetrators of SARA politicization. The National Police will work together with Bawaslu and the KPU to prevent violations related to SARA, especially during the campaign period.

KPU Regulation Number 3 of 2022 also strengthens the urgency for stakeholders, including political parties, to direct their campaigns in a more substantial direction and based on concrete programs. This represents an important shift from campaigns based primarily on emotion and identity to campaigns that are more policy-oriented.

In a broader context, this regulation also highlights the importance of political education and public awareness of the importance of selecting leaders based on their integrity, competence and vision, not just identity factors. Holistic political education can help change people’s paradigm in choosing their representatives, and efforts like this regulation are only a small part of a larger effort to make that happen.

By avoiding the politicization of SARA in the election process, we can build a solid foundation for a healthy and thriving democracy in Indonesia. It’s time for all of us to unite in the national spirit and move together towards a better future for our country.

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