In 2014, Indonesia conducted presidential election. This election has been somewhat special. Usually, well, previously, most all of Indonesian president came from military background or somehow related to it. Not to mention that Indonesia was under dictatorship for 32 years, last year’s democracy has brought different atmosphere, and new hope from Indonesian people.
Voting is not an obligation in Indonesia. During the dictatorship regime, voting was hardly useful. The winner will be the same. People has reclutantly use their vote rights. However, since democracy has started everything has been different. The 2014 election is very different from before. There were an increase in the number of people who participate in the election and followed the election process. The currently elected president, Joko Widodo or better known as Jokowi started his political career quite differently in a good way. He was famous of being close to his people in Solo, very humble and work directly to solve real problems. He started out as an entrepreneur who paved his way into politic by becoming governor of Solo. Then he moved and elected to become the governor of Jakarta, the capital city in Indonesia where he was nominated by one of the biggest party to become president against the strong candidate, Prabowo. Prabowo has the support of the majority of the government officials and the support of many other political party. This coercion was interesting since the two candidates has literally divided Indonesian opinion into two. Some supported Jokowi and some supported Prabowo. Jokowi’s success was largely supported by volunteers. People who willingly give their time and effort to support Jokowi.
The opinion, fact, vision and mission of the two candidates were broadcasted in every kind of social media platform. Technology has enabled many Indonesian people to have different point of view and information. Before this, the only source of information was the television news. While during the election, some of the broadcasting television station has weigh on one side and not fairly show news about the other side. Through the help of technology, these data and information has informed Indonesian commoners for then make a decision on who should lead Indonesia and affect the very lives of 250 million people who lives there.
There was a case in Hong kong. It was reported that there were intimidation or cheat when Indonesian migrant worker was voting. The investigation to the report was brought up from social media such as Facebook that showed a man who was accused to intimidate Indonesian citizen who was about to give their vote. Thankfully, the data has shown this and brought this to public attention so people could see that there are possibility of unfairness in the election process thus demanded to the election commission to be fair and investigate the case. With this case and other similar cases in other country, people could discuss of what happened. This discussion, although some are not healthy and tend to be provocative or too chauvinistic, help to inform people and add it to their consideration in deciding who will they vote for.
The result of the election was different in every channel of news and official election officers. The data that was shown was different so there were concern about the validity of the data. Concern about the possibility of fraud in 2014 presidential election, Singapore-based Indonesian citizen initiate kawalpemilu.org to guard the validity of the counting process. Through online platforms, Kawalpemilu has attracted around 700 volunteers. The Indonesian Election Commission makes all data from more than 400,000 voting station all around Indonesia and every other country available on its website. The volunteers at Kawalpemilu.org could examine, check, backup the data, and report if there were errors to the commission.
People put their hopes on the new candidate, Jokowi. Some fear the dictatorship regime would be emerge back, some other think that Jokowi has not fully prepared to lead 250 million people. As a new candidate, Jokowi didn’t have the sources to mobilize the masses. Also probably would not be able to do like what most politician do during campaign, money politics to buy votes. All and all, presidential election process must be done fairly. The possibility of the fraud votes, were guarded by Indonesian people. Not from political party, government, but commoners. The vote counting process was very crucial to see the course of the country.
Of course, no one can tell how will the elected president, Jokowi carry on the hope of Indonesian people to make Indonesia a better place to live. However, at least the election process was fairly held, tightly guarded and hopefully as democratic as it can be.