January 19, 2024
JAKARTA – A member of the Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD campaign team, Todung Mulya Lubis, said the 2024 presidential election was the least democratic election since the start of the Reform Era, the period after the downfall of the country’s authoritarian leader Soeharto.
“Facts have confirmed [government officials’] attempts to support one of the candidates and suspicions of foul play that we have been monitoring for some time. It is something we call a ‘patron-client’ system in society, where the client does everything the patron tells them to do,” said Todung, a lawyer and the former Indonesian ambassador to Norway, told reporters on Wednesday, as quoted by kumparan.com.
According to the 74-year-old, one example of foul play was an audio recording leaked from Batu Bara regency, North Sumatra. In the recording, officials from the local police, state prosecutor’s office and district military command of Batu Bata regency allegedly encourage citizens to vote for the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka presidential ticket.
Another example is a viral video from the secondary school division of the Medan Education Agency. In the video, the division’s chief, Andy Yudhistira, allegedly invites headmasters to vote for Prabowo-Gibran.
Todung lamented that the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) did not take further measures to prevent these incidents, since the agency would only address them after receiving formal reports.
On the same occasion, Ganjar-Mahfud campaign team secretary Hasto Kristiyanto, who is the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary-general, said his team discovered a billboard in Medan depicting Medan Mayor Bobby Nasution with Prabowo, which prompted suspicion of foul play.
“It is not just about mayors. Even [President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] has appeared on billboards and television, openly supporting the Indonesia Solidarity Party [PSI]. It is something we never imagined before taking place during a presidential election. It is politically incorrect. This incident has damaged Indonesian democracy,” said Hasto.