Jokowi asked not to meddle in election, use law enforcement agencies as political tool

Source – June 14, 2023
LBH Jakarta Director Arif Maulana speaking at LBH offices in Jakarta – August 4, 2029 (Kompas)

Singgih Wiryono, Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition is asking President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo not to meddle (cawe-cawe) in the 2024 elections.

Coalition member Arif Maulana from the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) said that the call was made in a proclamation that will be sent by mail to Widodo today, Wednesday June 14.

Aside from asking Widodo to take a neutral position, Maulana said that the Coalition is also asking him not to misuse government institutions for the purpose of meddling in the elections.

"[We] ask the president to take a neutral position in the elections and not to misuse government institutions under his [authority] in the interests of certain candidates", said Maulana during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

Still in relation to the elections, the proclamation also urges the Constitutional Court (MK) and the General Elections Commission (KPU) to take a stand against corruption.

"(We are also asking) the MK and the KPU to take a stand against corruption and safeguard democracy independently by rejecting any intervention in the interests of certain [political] parties or groups", he added.

The Coalition also gave the proclamation to Widodo so that he does not use law enforcement agencies such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the Attorney General's Office (AGO) or the police as a political clobbering (gebuk) tool.

Beyond the elections, the Coalition is asking Widodo to revive the KPK leadership selection committee and oppose the implementation of a five year term in office for the current KPK leadership, which was recently ruled on by the Constitutional Court.

"(We also call for) the dismissal of the problematic KPK leadership, including [Chairperson] Firli Bahuri because they have repeatedly shown strong indications of committing ethical violations", said Maulana.

The other points in the proclamation include asking Widodo not to intervene in judicial institutions and oppose the criminalisation of activists.

The Coalition is therefore asking Widodo to halt the alleged criminalisation of rights activists Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar, who are currently on trial for defamation.

"The president (is being asked) to reject any and all criminalisation of activists including by taking a concrete stand by halting the criminalisation of Fatia and Haris", said Maulana.

Finally, the proclamation calls on Widodo to cancel the Omnibus Law on Job Creation and protect the interests of workers.

[Abridged translation by James Balowski based on two articles published by on June 14. The original title of the lead article was "Koalisi Masyarakat Sipil Minta Jokowi Tak Cawe-cawe dalam Pemilu 2024".]