February 26, 2024

The Government Can’t Just Abolish Noken in Papua Local Elections

In the upcoming 2017 Local Elections, there are six regencies in the Papua Province that will use the noken system in their election. This system, in which votes are cast by agreement or acclamation, cannot be easily substituted with the regular method of casting vote that more guarantee the principle of one person one vote one value (opovov).

“The fact that there are still six regencies in Papua, which are Nduga, Lanny Jaya, Puncak Jaya, Intan Jaya, Tolikara, and Dogiyai, still use the noken system, shows that the citizens of those areas are not ready yet with the regular voting system. Therefore, the government should be more aggressive and inclusive in providing political education to the Papua citizens,” says Kholilullah, a researcher at the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) (11/02).

If government insists on abolishing the noken system, it would disrupt the social and political order in those areas because the noken system is heavily affect the lives of the local citizens.

“What the government should do is to administer the noken system so that the system can be compatible with the principle of transparency and accountability,” Kholil says.

The noken system is constitutionally regulated in the Conctitutional Court’s Decision No.47/81/PHPU.A/VII/2009. The Judges of the Constitutional Court asserted that noken system is allowed to be implemented in Papua because it is compatible with the local context of Papua society. In Papua, noken means more than just a voting system. It also implies social status, self-identity, and peace.