Discussion about simultaneous elections and future of local democracy in Indonesia was held on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 at Widya Graha building, LIPI. As for the speakers in this discussion were included Ir. A. Riza Patria (Deputy of Commission II of the House of Representatives), Sigit Pamungkas (Commissionaire of Election Commission -KPU), Sebastian Salang (FORMAPPI), Prof. Dr. Irfan Ridwan Maksum (Professor of FISIP UI), and Moch. Nurhasim (Center for Politics Research LIPI-P2P).
Opening the discussion, Riza Patria, highlighted that ahead of the simultaneous election, political parties are only think about how to win the election so that the selection process of local political leader candidates in not based on a rigorous selection and only rely on popularity and political dynasty factors. This is also justified by other speakers, namely Sebastian Salang, who ever experienced the process of candidate selection at local election in West Nusa Tenggara.
On the other hand, the spirit of the simultaneous election for effective and efficient electoral system is not seen yet in the preparation of simultaneous elections. For example, Sigit Pamungkas (KPU Commissionaire) stated that the drafting regulations process related to simultaneous election had through a long and complicated process in which the consultation process that should be a legislative advising actually sifted into a legislative review and often tend to be legislative determining.
Moreover, in the process of this regulation drafting, KPU has always struggled with various interpretations and legal paradoxes that emerged. Among them regarding the prohibition against candidates who have a relationship with the incumbent, issue of splits in political party or dualism leadership in the party, and also issue of a single candidate.
On the other hand, Sebastian Salang highlighted the issue of "dowry" politics that often become a beginning of the difficulty in overcoming corruption problem at local level. According to him, as long as political dowry cannot be overcome, then during the same time, the corrupt local political leader will always arise.
Meanwhile, Prof. Irfan Maksum (UI) and Moch. Nurhasim (LIPI) highlighted the matter of the simultaneous election from the theoretical side. According to Prof. Irfan, elections are not compatible for Indonesia as long as Indonesia still has PUM, except with "elections plus-plus" that is a joint election with other election mechanism which worth merit system. Weighting results of the election with another mechanism determines the election winner.
Moch. Nurhasim from P2P LIPI then explained the results from ERI which focused on the term of simultaneous election that still have a problem because there is no link or relation within each election. This phenomenon that "deviate" from its original purpose affected to some aspects which are: budget inefficiency, local leader crisis, “puppet” or rented candidate, political dynasties strengthen phenomenon, as well as lack of democracy in internal political party; and transactional politics still strong (political dowry under the hand).
Furthermore, some important notes arose in the discussion presented by the active participants which were: Sri Budi Eko Wardani (Puskapol UI), Edy Sutrisno (LAN), Lena Maryana (PPP politician), Iqbal Damanik (KPPOD), Rahadi Wiratama (LP3ES) and Usep Hasan Sadikin (Perludem).
As a politician, Lena outlined problem of local political leader recruitment inside political party. Meanwhile, Sri Budi Eko Wardani pointed out that the fate of the local democracy future is also determined by people's participation in making the elections as a means to improve the existing gap between election and post-election period, as happened during this time.
According to her, spaces of public participation should be the primary discussion in order to achieve a substantive election. In addition, Sri Budi Eko Wardani also outlined that political party must have the courage to run recruitment functions that are not based on structure and bureaucracy. Furthermore, she also highlighted the issue of political oligarchy in which this issue is not sufficiently addressed only by changes in regulation but also must put concern to non-regulation aspects such as society political participation.
Then, Edi Sutrisno (LAN) highlighted issue about civil service and bureaucracy politicization as well as the recommendation of local political leader which is too depend on party recommendation. Meanwhile, Iqbal Damanik (KPPOD) explain about necessity to put concern on good governance, in addition to the election process itself.
On the other hand, Usep Hasan Sadikin (Perludem) outlined his view that the separation of campaign in public and private sphere might interpreted to encourage citizen participation and also encourage political party to be more serious in the elections contestation. In addition, Usep also highlighted KPU and Bawaslu relations where Perludem, according to Usep, recommendated Bawaslu to transformed into Political Funding Supervisory Board. Usep also highlighted issue about migrant citizen that should still can join election even though they are in different DAPIL.
Lastly, Rahadi Wiratama explained that there is should a roadmap about election systems as a measurable regime up to technical level that can be accepted by all stakeholders and can be stable and also can be used as a reference.
This Round Table Discussion went on for four hours also attended by researchers in Local Politics Research Group (Kelti Local) Center for Politics Research LIPI and this RTD produce a conclusion that this kind of discussion is important to do regularly as contribution to increase the quality of Indonesia democracy in the future.
(Translated into English by Fathimah Fildzah Izzati)