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The public must know the track record of the presidential candidate they will elect

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The noisy drumbeats of the 2024 Election are getting louder and louder. Even though no one has officially registered with the General Election Commission as a Presidential Candidate (Capres), the public is already starting to guess potential candidates to run for office. The active role of the community is very necessary in this election as a form of active participation in determining the direction of national development.

As a democratic party event every five years, it is certain that the public is very enthusiastic about waiting for this momentum. Optimism for the nation’s progress will be pinned on the Presidential Candidates who will be selected later. Of course, various in-depth considerations are needed so as not to make the wrong choice and be counter-productive to the direction of sustainable national development.

Track record is assessed as a measuring tool to test whether someone can meet the qualification criteria to become a leader. Presidential candidates who have been proven to have real ideas for Indonesia’s progress have certainly done the same thing in their previous mandates. Likewise, vice versa, presidential candidates who have threatened the integrity of the nation and carried out various dirty political intrigues are also considered to be the basic character of this figure.

The Minister of Religion, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas emphasized that the election is an event to determine the figure who will realize the nation’s noble ideals. This will be realized with the solidity of unity and the highest respect for differences in the context of Indonesia’s diversity. A presidential candidate who has been proven to have divided people for political purposes is not a good choice. This figure will only divide the integrity of the Indonesian nation and result in a decline in national development.

Head of the Research and Development and Training Agency of the Ministry of Religion (Kemenag), Amien Suyitno also invited all state civil servants (ASN) within the ministry to reject identity politics, because it could threaten unity. He encouraged ASN to become an agent that can eliminate any use of identity politics that can divide unity. Identity politics is very dangerous for Indonesia’s harmonious harmony. Moreover, identity politics with religious nomenclature is much more dangerous and vulnerable to being infiltrated by jihadist ideology.

The bad experience of identity politics in the 2027 DKI Gubernatorial Election and the 2019 Presidential Election must be a matter of mutual concern. This must not happen again because it threatens the integrity of the nation and hampers the Government’s efforts to make national development a success.

Researcher (Association for Elections and Democracy Perludem), Ihsan Maulana, believes that identity politics has become a political commodity as a result of polarization in society. According to Ihsan, it is widely used as a political strategy because it is cheap. Rogue politicians use identity politics because it doesn’t cost much. Especially when it comes to religious sentiments, people will more easily be incited to hate and intimidate other groups. This has certainly resulted in the decline of democracy.

Principal Expert Researcher for Public Policy at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Syafuan Rozi stated that the track record factor would be the main consideration for a novice voter in determining the 2024 presidential candidate he or she would choose. First-time voters from Gen Z and Millennials will be the largest niche in the 2024 election.

New voters tend not to be able to decide their stance quickly. They will first find out the figure of the presidential candidate through their track record. Moreover, with the 2024 general election still several months away, first-time voters are using it to track the presidential candidates’ track dates.

The Chairperson of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Puan Maharani, invited the public to assess for themselves the track record of each presidential candidate taking part in the 2024 elections. This is a necessity because it concerns the people’s mandate for the progress of the Indonesian nation.

Secretary General (Sekjen) of the National Association of Activists 98 (PENA 98) Adian Napitupulu emphasized that presidential candidates must meet several criteria, including never having a track record in identity politics. This is a necessity because the Indonesian nation is based on equality of rights and obligations above all differences. Supporting a figure who has a track record of identity politics means a decline in democracy and is not in line with the noble ideals of the nation’s founders.

It is known that identity politics means politics that uses identity for division. So it should be rejected because it goes against the basic principles of politics, namely building a nation with unity. The public must side with realistic ideas, not primordial views. Accuracy in the track record of presidential candidates must continue to be fostered so that the public chooses a presidential candidate who has a track record of being a figure who sincerely fights for all levels of society.

Previously, identity politics with a negative tone peaked in the 2017 DKI Presidential Election and became even bigger in the 2019 Presidential Election. Polarization meant that identity politics was infiltrated by hate speech, disinformation, hoaxes and others. Even if it increases further, it could endanger the integrity of the nation and cause security instability.

Therefore, the entire community must remind each other to research the track records of presidential candidates. Choosing a figure who has a track record of identity politics has no benefit and could actually endanger the country.

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