Don’t just declare it

Kompas – September 26, 2018

Don’t just declare it... are you ready?

Writing reads: No hoax, no SARA, no money politics

The campaign period for the 2019 presidential and legislative elections officially kicked off Sunday with participants signing a declaration pledging a “peaceful campaign” at the National Monument Central Jakarta.

Presidential and vice presidential hopefuls, political party leaders and Jakarta Representatives Council candidates attended the event, which was organized by the General Elections Commission, clad in traditional attire from various parts of Indonesia.

“We, the participants of the 2019 general elections, promise to [...] conduct an election campaign that is safe, orderly, peaceful, honorable and free from hoaxes, SARA [ethnic, religious, social or racial] politicisation and vote buying”, said the declaration read out by the candidates.

But if past election campaign “peace declarations” are any guide, most people can be forgiven for thinking that the official campaign period will continue to be dominated by fake news, slander, and identity politics, rather than a healthy debate on the real problems and issue facing ordinary Indonesians.