The KPU has named 17 national political parties and six local parties from Aceh that will be running for the 2024 elections. A number of political parties stated they would work harder due to the tight competition.
NIKOLAUS HARBOWO, IQBAL BASYARI, REBIYYAH SALASAH
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS – As the General Elections Commission (KPU) named 17 national political parties and six local parties from Aceh as participants of the 2024 legislative elections, the competition is going to get tough. This is because there are now more political parties partaking in the elections compared to the niche of voters that share the same ideologies as a party, which remains the same.
The naming of these political parties, however, has been overshadowed by criticism from civil society organizations and several former election organizers who question the integrity of the factual verification process used to determine whether a political party is eligible to partake in the 2024 elections.
The 17 national political parties and six parties from Aceh were named as participants of the elections during a national recapitulation plenary meeting on the factual verification results at the central KPU office in Jakarta on Wednesday. To compare, there were 16 national political parties and four parties from Aceh that took part in the 2019 elections.
KPU chairman Hasyim Asy’ari said that nine of the 17 national political parties that passed the factual verification stage were represented in the legislature, while five parties were non-parliamentary. The remaining three parties are newcomers.
Of the nine political parties that underwent the factual verification process, only the Ummat Party did not pass the stage for failing to meet the electoral requirements in two provinces, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and North Sulawesi. In response, the Ummat Party submitted a written objection to the KPU.
Ummat Party deputy chairman Nazaruddin said the Ummat Party objected because the commission’s recapitulation results in the two provinces differed from the data they obtained. Apart from that, Nazaruddin said, the Ummat Party felt that several KPU district offices made the factual verification process difficult for them.
Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) chairman Rahmat Bagja said political parties that did not qualify as an election participant and felt disadvantaged by the commission’s decision can appeal with the Bawaslu. They are given three working days after the commission’s decision to make an appeal.
On Wednesday night, the KPU drew lots to determine the order of political parties participating in the election. According to Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2022, political parties that participated in the 2019 elections and have met the parliamentary threshold can use their former number. Meanwhile, non-parliamentary parties and newcomers must draw lots. Of the political parties that took part in the 2019 elections, only the United Development Party (PPP) drew lots. Eight other national political parties used their former numbers.
Competition gets tough
Chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) election winning body Bambang Wuryanto said, with 17 political parties partaking in the 2024 elections, the PDI-P cannot be arrogant or complacent. Every political party, even large parties, must prepare well.
National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Muhaimin Iskandar also knows that the competition will be tough. However, according to Muhaimin, winning lies in the party’s strategy to capture the hearts of the people. “We have to be smart to show that we have goals for this nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, acting PPP chairman Muhammad Mardiono said he was not worried about the participation of new parties during the election. The PPP was also not worried about their votes eroding due to the new participants. “All that is left is to win over the people,” he said.
University of Indonesia Center for Political Studies acting executive director Hurriyah deemed that the increased number of political parties participating in the election would make the competition tougher. This is because these political parties have a niche of voters but overlapping ideologies, which means they will be struggling for the support of the same voters. The parliamentary threshold is quite high, namely at 4 percent, so not all parties will be able to qualify. As was the case in 2019, 16 political parties contested but seven parties eventually failed to be represented by the legislature.
Thus, according to Hurriyah, innovation is needed to win over voters. The short campaign period, lasting 75 days, needs to be used wisely by promoting programs that voters need. New political parties must seek breakthroughs to grab the public’s attention.
The integrity of the process
Several former KPU and Bawaslu members have called for an investigation into the allegations that the results of the factual verification had been manipulated. Former Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP) member Valina Singka Subekti said that if the allegations were proven, it would set a bad precedent for Indonesia’s democratic processes. The elections, as mandated by the Constitution, must run in accordance with principles of honesty, fairness and democracy.
Former KPU member, Hadar Nafis Gumay, admitted he was concerned and furious over the allegations. The discourse has become a huge issue because it is suspected that the KPU was behind it, an institution that is at the heart of election management. He believes that this matter must be thoroughly investigated.