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Turning the direction of Political Dowry

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The Simultaneous Local Election (Pilkada) Part I has ended and now we”re waiting for the Simultaneous Pilkada Part II. Pilkada has become one of the most talked about topics. One of the discussions is concerning the trouble in proofing the political dowry.

Political dowry is understood as a payment from a district head registrant to be carried in the Pilkada. Political dowry is like an issue above the sky, which we know as gratitude-money to the Central Party Organizer in order to get a recommendation paper to complete the requirements for the district head registration to be given to KPU.

The issue of the payment in order to be nominated as a pair is like the wind, it can be felt but it cannot be seen. Soundly we can hear the term of political dowry but there is no single proof concerning its existence. That is the sad story of individual nomination process. Because the individual candidates were unable to pay the dowry and finally they just moved forward with identity card and signature.

This year, Pilkada matter is not only infamous for its Law revision (RUU) Number 8 Year 2015 (RUU Pilkada). However it is crowded due to the foul play debate for individual or party nomination. This time the writer tries to read the embodiment of new era that has the possibility of stopping individual nomination without anyone getting hurt.

Learning from Nasdem Party

Nomination without dowry is proposed by Nasdem Party in the Simultaneous Pilkada Part 1. Nasdem party freed the payment from candidate pairs that were carried. They who have the intention of taking the power of the Governmental Autonomous Region only needs to complete the requirements and follow the procedure of nomination selection. Then, Nasdem let out a recommendation to sign up to the Provincial KPU for Governor candidate pair and Vice-governor or to district/city Electoral Committee (KPU) for the pairs.

We cannot say that the other political parties ask for political dowry by carrying the Nasdem version of local election winning program. It is just that Nasdem really voiced the local election massively. This thing is the good, first step to filter the local politicians with minimal funding to try their luck in being elected in the local election

The pattern of democratic election for district head with Nasdem”s way still has a weak point. Faintly heard that the local administrator was scrambling to find the money to fund all the process. They are not allowed to ask money. However, they are required to do it on their own in running the party”s mechanism.

This mechanism is known by the author starting from the candidates” exploration, the admission of the documents, survey, data collecting in cadre, parties” meeting to the delivery of documents and the accountability to the Central Administrator. All those activities are done independently and caused them so many burdens.

The action of rejecting political dowry

Nasdem party will have a partner in rejecting political dowry. That party is Golkar that was voiced by its leader from extraordinary national congress (Musnalub). Setya Novanto (Setnov) in Indonesian media (18/5) stated that in the 100 days work program, he tried to prepare Golkar in the 2017 Simultaneous local election. Setnov firmly rejected political dowry for the pairs from Golkar.

Let”s just take this as a reality if seen from the name of Golkar”s leader that is known as prosperous. His assets will not only be enhanced just by accepting the political dowry from Golkar”s candidates in 2017 Simultaneous Local Election. Setnov continued by sating his wants in helping to prepare the fund and winning consultant for free.

Golkar will become the second political party after Nasdem that eradicate political dowry in nomination of candidate pairs what are carried by political party or the merge of political parties. However, Golkar has their own plus and that is helping the funding as well as winning consultants. The target is that to find quality cadre that is ready to win the election and enhance the vote for Golkar in 2019 election.

The problem is how the mechanism of election and the determination of candidate pairs that are carried by Golkar without the dowry. The administrators from central to local have their own priority in Golkar. Even if here is support outside the administrators, it is mostly local businessmen or candidates who are carried by the merge of coalition.

Burying political dowry 

If the program from Nasdem and Golkar truly happens without weakness, we will face a new era in local political contestation, First, the local figures and local politicians will sign up for the position of district head. The impact in the future is that the forming of conventions of elections that will be carried by political parties.

The result of convention will be registered to be candidate pairs from political parties and the merge of political parties. Indirectly, the people who are interested in individual track will be lessened without having to be stopped through requirements in RUU Pilkada. This matter is also used in order to enhance public”s trust that political parties are the people”s instruments to make the country prosperous through democratic parties.

It is certainly that the convention in any form of technic including public testing must be given to the parties. Convention participants are not allowed to be burdened by gas money and food for the supporters. The implication is local figures become their own magnets in shaping the new face of democracy in electing the district head.

Second, the reverse flow of political dowry that has been known from candidates to political parties, change from political parties to candidate pairs like Golkar. Political dowry from political parties to the candidate pairs is built after the payment is done and opens the convention of justice. In the future, political parties are the ones who must give the political dowry to the people who pass the convention phase, not the other way around

The new face of the political dowry lessens the burden for candidate pairs to fund their fight in local election. This dowry is hoped to fit the rule and has clear requirements. If needed, KPK and PPATK will be helped by political parties in regulating the safety of donation in order to keep the local election clean.

However, it is way too long for us to be silence in political freedom due to the powerlessness of money”s power. So, it is hard to believe that political dowry is turning direction. Another fear for full payment from political parties to the candidates is the fear of political parties” dolls in local government”s leadership, city and also district.

This is where we need to let go the advice “prevention is better than cure”. If it”s already sick, cure needs energy and a lot of money, so does curing Pilkada politics. Burying political dowry is concerned to bring out party worker with status as district head.

Finally the author has a message, let us support the burial of political dowry. Turning the direction of political dowry must be based on the will of the nation”s political improvement. As time goes by, we will also find the remedy to political disease from the eradication of political dowry. []

ANDRIAN HABIBI

Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP)

Translated by Andina 

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