JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The issue of postponing the 2024 General Election has been a constant discussion for the past month.
The discourse was put forward by a number of political elites, as well as opposed by other political elites.
Namely the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Menko Marves) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and the Minister of Investment/Head of BKPM Bahlil Lahadalia.
Then, from the political parties, there are the General Chairperson of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Muhaimin Iskandar, General Chairperson of the Golkar Party Airlangga Hartarto, and Chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan.
The five of them raised the issue of postponing the election. The reason is to restore the economy, which had been in crisis due to the pandemic.
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However, this proposal was severely criticized by some circles, one of which is the owner of the largest “share” in the government, the PDI-P.
Although a handful of ministers and party chairmen have voiced delays, the PDI-P insists that elections must still be held as scheduled, February 14, 2024.
Subject to Megawati’s orders
PDI-P cadres were asked to obey orders from PDI-P General Chair Megawati Soekarnoputri regarding the issue of postponing the 2024 election.
The chairman of the PDI-P Election Winning Body (Bappilu), Bambang Wuryanto, said that it had entered the level of the general chairman of the party.
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“So Mrs (Megawati) ordered us PDI-P ranks that the matter is in the hands of the chairwoman and the secretary general (secretary general),” said Bambang at the Senayan Parliament Complex, quoted from Tribunnews.com, Monday (21/3). /2022).
For this reason, the chairman of Commission III of the DPR RI said that Megawati did not want her cadres to comment on the issue of postponing the election.
“Because, of course, maybe the rationale is far away, it’s impossible for my class as a helper to understand or not. For me, it’s just the process of winning the election, the policy won’t be,” he said.
Obey the constitution
So far, Megawati has never directly commented in public about the discourse on postponing the 2024 election. However, the PDI-P Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto has conveyed the party’s position.
He said the PDI-P did not agree with the proposed postponement of the election. PDI-P also said it would obey the 1945 Constitution, which states that elections are held every five years.
“PDI-P affirms its political stance that the discourse on postponing the election does not have a strong legal basis and forgets the most fundamental aspects of politics that require discipline and obedience to the constitution,” said Hasto in his statement, Thursday (24/2/2022).
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PDI-P also believes that President Joko Widodo will uphold the constitution regarding this polemic.
According to him, the president has been sworn in to state the importance of upholding the Constitution and carrying out all its laws and regulations in a straightforward manner.
“Based on the provisions of the constitution, the constitution mandates that general elections be held in a direct, general, free, secret, honest and fair manner every five years,” he said.
“Thus, there is no room at all to postpone the election,” said Hasto.
Question Luhut’s claim
Hasto also previously openly questioned the attitude of Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan who spoke about the discourse on postponing the election.
Hasto considered that the issue of postponing the election should have been brought up by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD or the Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Tito Karnavian.
The issue of postponing the election, said Hasto, did not enter the realm of the ministry led by Luhut.
Also read: When the Sentil Luhut Coalition Concerned the Discourse of Postponing the Election…
“In my opinion, Pak Luhut should clarify, what capacity is he speaking in? Because when it comes to politics, law and security, it’s the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. When it comes to democracy politics, governance arrangements, it’s the Home Affairs Minister,” said Hasto in a press release, Monday ( 14/3/2022).
Hasto reminded that an assistant to the president should focus on his duties in accordance with the mandate given. He also appealed to ministers not to make negative statements related to this polemic.
Hasto also said that no minister should have a different opinion with Jokowi in addressing the discourse of postponing the election.
“The president has repeatedly stated his stance firmly and the government has agreed on the elections on February 14, 2024. Then why are there presidential assistants who make unhealthy discourses in the national political situation?” he said.
Jokowi speaks up
President Jokowi was supposed to have spoken about the noisy issue of postponing this election. The president said he would obey the constitution.
“We are not only obedient and submissive, but also obedient to the constitution,” said Jokowi at the Bogor Palace, West Java, Friday (4/3/2022), quoted from Kompas.id Saturday edition (5/3/2022).
Read also: Finally Jokowi Opens Voice: Promises to Obey the Constitution, but Says Discourse on Postponing Elections Can’t Be Banned
At the same time, Jokowi said that the discourse on postponing the election could not be banned. Because it’s part of democracy.
However, once again, he emphasized that he would submit and obey the constitution.
“Anyone is allowed to propose a discourse on postponing the election and extending the term of office of the president, minister or political party, because this is democracy. You are free to have an opinion. However, when it is implemented, everything must obey and obey the constitution,” said Jokowi.
The president’s attitude is considered not to be as harsh as Jokowi’s previous statement. As is known, the discourse of extending the presidential term has repeatedly surfaced.
Read also: Jokowi used to say that the issue of extending the term of office of the president was slapped in the face, now he calls it part of democracy
The first time this issue appeared at the end of 2019, Jokowi suspected that there were parties who wanted to plunge him into proposing the discourse.
“If someone proposes it, there are three (motives) in my opinion, wanting to slap me in the face, wanting to look for my face, or wanting to plunge me. That’s all,” said Jokowi at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, December 2, 2019.
Then, in early 2021, Jokowi reiterated that he had no intention and no interest in serving for 3 terms.
This attitude, he said, would never change. As stated in the constitution, the term of office of the president is limited to two terms.
“I emphasize, I have no intention. No one is also interested in becoming president for three terms,” Jokowi said via the Presidential Secretariat YouTube, Monday (15/3/2021).
Although many parties have asked the president to reaffirm his position, until now Jokowi has not commented on this again.
Listening to the polemic, Managing Director of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute, Ahmad Khoirul Umam, considered that there was a lack of communication between the PDI-P and the internal interest groups of the Presidential Palace.
“The group began to run independently outside the control of the ruling party,” said Umam to Kompas.com, Monday (21/3/2022).
The difference in voice between the PDI-P and a number of other political elites, said Umam, could be an early indicator for the fading of the prestige of the “bull party” as the main sponsor of the governing coalition.
Also read: Luhut and Cak Imin’s Illusion of Big Data Claims about People Wanting Elections to be Postponed…
If the PDI-P is not able to re-consolidate the coalition parties, then the momentum of the discourse on postponing the election could be the beginning of a split that makes the coalition parties spread according to their respective interests.
If this condition continues to make the minister’s loyalty falter, the minister’s loyalty will no longer be to the president, but to their respective political parties.
Under these conditions, continued Umam, the president will soon be transformed into a lonely leader (the lonely leader).
“This is what President Jokowi and PDI-P must anticipate as the main sponsors of the current government coalition,” he said.
According to Umam, the PDI-P must evaluate the total number of parties who are free to hijack the presidential authority, which has an impact on the solidity of the coalition of political parties within the government.
If the warning option does not work, according to him, the option of dismissal can be considered.
“Otherwise, the PDI-P will lose control and control over the ‘party officers’ whom he has trusted all along to carry out the mandate of the national leadership,” he said.
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