IO, Jakarta – Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Ma’ruf Amin pleads for our citizens not to turn the Elections into a forum for dissent, hostility, and division in their daily lives. The true purpose of Elections is to choose leaders who will maintain the people’s prosperity and advance the nation, not to gain riches and secure power from the people. “There are always winners and losers in all Elections. Difference of choice in Elections is natural, and must be respected,” he said in his address at the launching of the Election Vulnerability Index (Indeks Kerawanan Pemilu – “IKP”) of the 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections held in Pecenongan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday (25/02/2020).
Ma’ruf requests that regional head candidates refrain from insulting the democratic event by playing with ethnicity, race, and religious issues, or by disseminating hate speeches and hoaxes. He is concerned that such things will spark riots among the people. “Don’t do anything that will destroy ourselves in the end, such as politicizing privacy issues (ethnicity, race, and religion). Everyone should compete properly with the ability that they have. They should promote their advantages as a candidate if they want to be elected,” he said.
Ma’ruf hopes that the leaders selected in the 2020 democratic event will be the best choice of the people – leaders who are chosen because of their vision and mission, not because of money politics. “The people must dare to reject money politics and not allow the electoral process to be stained by such practices. Choose according to what your heart and conscience tell you,” he said. “The elected regional heads, too, must remain honest, fair, and trustworthy in the effort to satisfy the people’s wishes. Make sure that all of your policies support and protect the people. Most importantly, please devote all of your strength, time, and thought to developing the nation and country.”
Ma’ruf also told the Election Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) to maintain its credibility and the public’s trust in electoral results. “I believe that Bawaslu is able to do this,” he said during the IKP launching. “The IKP is an important instrument that will help Bawaslu organize the elections successfully. In all elections, there are always risks to anticipate, some of which could be seen in the past elections, including the lack of neutrality among civil servants, double entries in the Voters’ Register in 179 regions, installation of campaign presentation equipment that does not comply with the rules in 133 regions, and low citizen participation. IKP lists these risks and how to mitigate them. It is hoped that Bawaslu and other relevant parties can use it to measure the possibility of any vulnerability occurring in the upcoming 2020 Simultaneous Elections and prevent them,” he said.
Vice President Ma’ruf further expressed his appreciation of Bawaslu’s performance, which contributed greatly to the success of the simultaneous regional elections in 2017 and the legislative and presidential elections in 2019. The success of any election strongly depends on neutral, professional, and honest monitoring. “We also hope that Bawaslu can also discharge its duties properly in the upcoming 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections,” he said. (des)