Jakarta Democracy Shifts Meaning to Identity Contestation

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM – Seeing the political dynamics of the first round of the Jakarta Regional Head Elections (Pilkada) until today, the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) concludes that democracy in Jakarta has shifted becoming the arena of contestation of identity and existence of the group, no longer a means of looking for wanted leaders.

“At present we do the process of filling public positions of governor and vice governor [of Jakarta] through the electoral process, also has shifted into the political process of identity,” said Executive Director of Perludem Titi Anggraini in Jakarta, Tuesday (04/18/2017).

According to Titi, community groups are built as an attempt to identify themselves with the candidates, so not only does it deliver the desired person to be leaders in Jakarta, but as if there is a paradigm, it is a matter of existence and personal identity which will be lost, if the candidate pair is defeated.

“This is supposed to be the electoral process, how we fill the public position through direct election, but there are efforts from elements that move contestation of electoral, contestation of democracy, filling public positions through elections, into contestation of identity and the existence of the group,” she said.

Emergence of identity contestation and establishing the existence of the group later is evolving into the politicization of ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup (SARA), and others.

“This phenomenon [identity contestation] must be returned to its track [democracy contestation], so do not leave it. Thus, the solution is strict law enforcement, [for] every effort of provocation, dissemination of false news, defamation, then the law should answer it,” she emphasized. (*)