Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | 18:31 WIB

Time to Move On House inquiry: Aspiration of the People or Will of the Political Elite?

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The House formed another special committee in 2009 to investigate the alleged inconsistencies by the General Elections Commission (KPU) in the holding of that year’s elections. The committee recommended that KPU commissioners be dismissed, but this was not followed up by the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). 

Political constellation in the House German philosopher Martin Heidegger believed that our perception of reality is always shaped by the knowledge that has been ingrained in us. As a military and security observer, I thus saw right away that the House inquiry speech was not your typical political discourse, as there were hints that it was an attempt to establish “certain conditions”. 

I draw this conclusion because the requirements needed to launch a parliamentary inquire are quite strict. Other than the requisite support from at least half of the House members, it also has to be followed up by MPR. 

First, Prabowo-Gibran’s big coalition currently controls 261 out of the total 575 seats (45.39 percent). It only needs to attract one more political party to secure 50 percent support to thwart the attempt. There is a rumor afloat that PKB will join the new government coalition. There was also an open statement from PPP election director Sandiaga Uno, who said that he is ready to assist the new government.

Second, even if an initiative passes, can strong evidence of election fraud be found? I am quite pessimistic about this. As mentioned earlier, the special committee in 2004 failed to find any credible evidence of structural, systematic and massive data manipulation. 

Even though the supposed evidence is presented before MK, history showed that the losing side always failed to provide evidence of widespread election fraud cases they claimed have taken place. We all watched how the trials unfolded post-2014 and 2019 elections. 

Third, even if the 2024 elections were found to be fraudulent, who will execute the recommendation? Will MPR follow up on this? Meanwhile, we know that the top leadership at MPR is filled by members of the Prabowo-Gibran coalition. In short, based on a political calculation, it is doomed to fail. 

First target: the public 

This hunch leads me to the conclusion that the political elite and the general public are the two main targets of the rhetoric surrounding parliamentary investigation. 

The first group’s goal is to give the impression that there was widespread electoral fraud during the 2024 presidential election, making it impossible for Prabowo-Gibran to have won, especially given that they did so by a large margin in just one round of voting. 

This endeavor is deemed efficacious in light of the diverse adverse attitudes that permeated the Prabowo-Gibran campaign trail in the 2024 presidential contest. It is inextricably linked to the MK verdict that permitted Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, to run for vice president. 

Subsequently, a large-scale social media campaign was launched to disseminate the story that Prabowo-Gibran had benefited from vote rigging. On numerous social media platforms, images and videos have been posted constantly since the election day. 

Ismail Fahmi, the founder of Drone Emprit, a social media analytics company, observed that from February 14 to 23, there was a very strong social media discourse on electoral fraud, particularly on X. 

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