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Monday, 28 February 2022 13:20

Discourse on Postponing the 2024 Election

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More recently, the Indonesian people have been disturbed by the discourse that the 2024 General Election should  be postponed for one or two years. This was voiced by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives who is also General Chairperson of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Muhaimin Iskandar after receiving guests from a group of entrepreneurs and banking economic analysts. He perceived that Indonesia’s economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic has not fully recovered so that the 2024 General Election may have the potential to cause conflict. If the election is postponed, President Joko Widodo will get an extension of the term of office.

The proposal immediately resulted in pros and cons. The National Mandate Party (PAN) became one of the parties that supported the proposal. On the contrary, the NasDem party, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Democrats, and PDIP rejected the proposal.

The proposed postponement of the election evoked public memories of the discourse in 2019 on the extension of the presidential term of office for three terms. This was firmly rejected by President Joko Widodo. He even suspected that the party who proposed it deliberately wanted to mislead him. The President also emphasized that he was a product of direct elections based on the Constitution 1945 post-reform.

The discourse of a three-term presidency reappeared in 2021. Once again, President Joko Widodo asserted that he had no intention and no interest in serving for three terms. He also affirmed that his stance of rejecting the discourse would never change. President Joko Widodo brings this up as a commitment to interpret the contents of the 1945 Constitution that the term of office of the president is limited to two terms only. He also asked all sides not to make trouble. According to President Joko Widodo, it would be better if all focus on handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Postponing the election would have an impact on the extension of the president's term of office. Until now, President Joko Widodo has not responded to the current discourse. However, the potential for disruption has begun to appear. A number of parties also want the president to respond immediately.

If the five-year extension is vehemently rejected by President Joko Widodo, just a short extension through the postponement of the election seems unlikely to be approved. Even though he stated his stance in the past. But now, President Joko Widodo should immediately respond to the discourse so that the controversy is not prolonged by encouraging the General Elections Commission to immediately prepare for the 2024 election as well as possible. This action can at the same time answer public questions on the president's position in responding to the discourse of postponing the election.

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