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People Must Monitor Elections, Reject Abstentions

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All Indonesian people welcoming the 2024 elections are obliged to welcome the elections with joy and not make this momentum an arena for hostility. One of these ways is to continue participating in elections and monitoring the celebration of democracy so that it runs smoothly.

The election will be held on February 14 2024. Before the election period there is of course a campaign period. During the election procession, people play an active role because they want to be good citizens. The participation of the Indonesian people is expected and they want to take part in the elections in an orderly manner.

One way of community participation in elections is through supervision. Member of Commission I DPR RI, Almuzzammil Yusuf stated that the biggest observers in securing the upcoming 2024 elections are the people. Because healthy people can use their mobile devices to record the situation at polling stations (TPS).

Almuzzammil Yusuf continued, those who supervised the elections were not supervisors of presidential candidates (Capres) or political parties (Parpol) but the public. In other words, to supervise elections, the community plays an important role. The reason is because those who are undergoing elections so that when fraud occurs they can immediately report it to Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Agency).

For example, when there is a ‘dawn attack’, aka giving envelopes containing money to people several hours before voting. The public can immediately report it to Bawaslu by bringing evidence in the form of photos, recordings or videos. Later, Bawaslu will follow up so that the perpetrators will be brought to justice because they are proven to have committed money politics.

The punishment for money politics according to Article 73 paragraph 3 of Law Number 3 of 1999 is:

Any person who, at the time a general election is held according to this law, by giving or promising to bribe someone, either so that the person does not exercise his right to vote or so that he exercises his right in a certain way, shall be punished with a maximum prison sentence of three years. This penalty is also imposed on voters who accept bribes in the form of gifts or promises to do something.

The community also reminds people around them not to accept bribes. Apart from violating the principles of honest and fair elections, recipients of bribes can also be punished. Don’t blind your eyes and receive an envelope and end up in prison.

Then, when there is fraud at the TPS (Polling Place), the public can monitor it by recording or photographing the fraud. They are expected to bring a smartphone as a communication tool as well as record it as evidence before reporting it to Bawaslu.

For example, when a polling station officer is caught manipulating the number of votes so that the results are inaccurate. There were also officers who cheated and stabbed blank ballot papers. These actions can be immediately reported to Bawaslu so that they can be resolved immediately.

To monitor the elections, the public is expected to play an active role. Don’t just feel that supervision is Bawaslu’s job because the number of members in a city or district is only small, so they cannot observe every election procession at 1 polling station. The public can use smartphones to record and report fraud in the 2024 elections.

Meanwhile, the public is also continuously being advised not to abstain from voting (white groups). 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 and neither is a potential leader. Every potential leader must have good and bad sides. If there is an idea that all potential leaders are bad, he invites people to continue voting in the democratic party every five years. He appealed to the public to elect leaders who have less ugliness than other leaders.

The community will be at a loss if they do not participate in the election, because the election is not about looking for good leaders, but preventing worse people from leading. A good prospective leader does not only listen to the aspirations of his group which only utilizes electoral politics and identity politics but is able to listen to the aspirations of the people well.

Abstention is 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 Indonesia’s future is at stake. There will be many empty ballot papers because the majority of people decide to abstain for reasons of skepticism about the condition of the country, criticism of the government, or emotion towards officials.

In taking part in the 2024 election procession, the public is expected to play an active role by becoming observers. They can help Bawaslu with their supervisory duties, thereby reducing the potential for fraud. The public can record and then report it to Bawaslu when there are individuals who carry out money politics, inflate votes, manipulate data or other fraud in the 2024 elections.

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