Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the National Consolidation of the General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), at Bidakara Hotel, DKI Jakarta Province, December 17, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 17 Desember 2022
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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Good afternoon,
May peace be upon us all,
Om swastiastu,
Namo Buddhaya,
Greetings of Virtue.

Distinguished Minister of Law and Human Rights and attending Ministers; Distinguished Chairperson of the General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) Rahmat Bagja, Ranks and Members of the Bawaslu;

Distinguished Acting Governor of Jakarta; Distinguished Chairperson of General Elections Commission (KPU) and all Commissioners;

Distinguished Chairperson of the Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP);

Distinguished Chairpersons of Provincial General Elections Supervisory Agency; Distinguished Chairpersons of General Elections Supervisory Agency in Regencies and Cities from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote island;

Distinguished Chairperson and members of the Aceh Province Supervisory Committee of General Elections;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

General elections supervisory occupies central position in order to ensure qualified general elections and our people trust the result. As mandated by the law, we have to prepare simultaneous elections for President, Vice President, members of House of Representatives (DPR), Regional Representatives Council (DPD), and Provincial Legislative Council (DPRD), and will be followed by regional elections in the same year.

The 2024 General Elections and Regional Elections will become the biggest democratic fiesta in the history of general elections in Indonesia, and probably the biggest one in the world since it will be held simultaneously in the same year. Compared to the previous elections, the elections could  be extensive and hard works. Please be careful. It could be the most difficult. But we have to remember that we also have to be careful on this considering it involves a great number of voters in extensively wide area and various geographic conditions. However, I believe that with experiences in organizing of previous general elections, I am sure that we are well-prepared for the next general elections with even more qualities.

The quality of the general election is an essential political foundation for the state and the government. Therefore, on general elections supervisory, Bawaslu plays a very central role. To maintain the elections’ integrity, the supervisory must be conducted in every stage of all elections. All the processes must be under intensive supervision and handled carefully to ensure general elections with quality.

I also would like to remind that in democracy process, trust is the key. I underscore, trust is the key. General elections held with integrity will result a strong legitimacy. It is like a football match; All parties will accept and approve the result of the match if it goes through a just process and has integrity.

On final voters list (DPT). It is always be a problem during elections. It is commonly used to point out unfair process. It is always repeated yet again. To that end, it is my hope that Bawaslu will really work hard to supervise the process of arranging DPT. If there is any hindrance, particularly coming from non-cooperative government sides, Mr. Rahmat Bagja may report it to me, because the DPT is a crucial issue. From time to time, DPT always becomes a source of problem that affects people’s trust. Data has become our weakness since our geographic area is extensively wide and diverse.

Therefore, once again, Bawaslu must always be present to ensure free, confidential, fair, and just general elections. On this auspicious occasion, I would like to point out several things, as follows:

Firstly, map out immediately any potential problems and various possible violations [related to general elections]. Those must be mapped out. The Bawaslu at national level, provincial level, regency/city level, as well as at subdistrict-level must be mapped out, so that they can be solved more easily. Pay attention to each probability problem case. Do not miss anything. Carry out careful planning, prepare preventive measures, mitigation measures, and anticipatory measures. Please, do not be easily complacent.

Secondly, focus on preventive measures. Do not only take action when there is a violation. Do not be passive or wait for complaints, but prevent the problems earlier that could affect social frictions. How big the friction is must be solved immediately. Do not let it spread. Please be careful, Bawaslu. Bawaslu has power and is respected. But all of you do not realize it.

I [as Presidential candidate] was summoned by Bawaslu in Jakarta. I did not know, what was my mistake. I was summoned. Before coming to Bawaslu, I was really nervous. It means that all of you are respected. All participants of general elections will be nervous, if they are summoned by Bawaslu. If Bawaslu said, “It is the final warning, Sir.” all must be afraid. I said so because I was summoned and was afraid at that time.

It is my hope that Bawaslu not only focus on technical monitoring of general elections processes. It must be stopped at that level. Bawaslu must have the Election Risk Index. It is great. It must be continued. I am pleased that Mr. Rahmat Bagja said that social media monitoring [supported by] cyber police [must be carried out] considering the problems [during elections] are often started from social media. The trigger starts from it, then people on the ground will be influenced because they are triggered by social media. To that end, I agree with what Chairperson of Bawaslu said. [For the example] there is no problem in inner-circle, it is ensured that the issue [triggered] from social media.

The risky issues during general elections are identity politics, SARA (ethnics, religions, races and inter-groups) politics as well as hoaxes. Please be cautious. Be careful considering that we have different religions, ethnics, races. Once again, be careful. Warn them, do not hesitate, summon them. They must be nervous.

Bawaslu and KPU can make clear, detailed, and effective rules. Chairperson of KPU is also here. Once again, make detailed, clear, and effective rules. Make sure that the rules do not have many interpretations. Make the clear one, so that if you give the right warning; you have mistaken because of one thing. There is no other interpretation. So that the decision can be clear made.

Once again, we shall not underestimate identity politics, politization of religion, and SARA (ethnics, religions, races and inter-groups) politics. Give no room for these issues. Indeed, it is horrible. It could be opportunity for irresponsible parties to divide the unity of our country, our nation.

Thirdly, work fast and responsively, according to the laws. All must be based on law. Immediately process every complaint submitted, give strict punishment for violators. Do not hesitate anymore. Uphold integrity, as well as be fair and independent.The Bawaslu must be firm in enforcing the rules, must not hesitate. But do not let people think that the Bawaslu become an agency that makes people worry about election participants. As I said earlier that all of you are respected, do not become an agency that makes people worry about election participants. What does it mean? The flurry of election must still be felt as part of our democracy. It is vital. The flurry of election must be there. Do not let the election buzz fade like nothing happens. If it is seen that like nothing happens, it is not right. Do not let it so.  In my opinion, the key is that the rules must be clear and disseminated. When the rules are disseminated, do not let any election participants say, “I do not know, I do not understand [the rules]. [The rules] are not disseminated yet.”

Fourth, call on people to participate, boost political education, political literacy, increase people’s participation to maintain general elections with integrity, quality. The participation of people [during general elections] will facilitate the Bawaslu’s tasks. It is vital. Participation is one of the important factors in overcoming money politics. We have to be aware considering that this case may happen. Money politics is a big question in every election. If one said, “Sir, there is more [money politics].” I always check on the ground. I participated in regional election. It was two times elections for mayor. I also participated in election for governor. Two times. Presidential election, two times. If one declined that there is no more [money politics], I would say that it is still existing. This is Bawaslu’s tasks. The rules have been tightened, but in the reality the money politic still exist. The sanction is not fair. People must be involved to reduce the chances of money politics because if it is not stopped, it will damage our democracy, Indonesian democracy.

That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion. By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby officially inaugurate the 2022 General National Consolidation of the Elections Supervisory Agency.

I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

(AP/HD/LW)

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