David Oliver Purba – The Andalas University (Unand) academic community alliance in Padang, West Sumatra, is urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to stop political "cawe-cawe" (meddling) and interference in the 2024 presidential election.
This was conveyed by the Andalas University academic community, which consists of teachers, staff and student activists, in front of the university's convention hall on Friday February 2.
The movement is a manifesto or position statement on efforts to save the nation, where Indonesia is currently seen as not doing well at all.
The incidents that were highlighted most were the authorities' intervention in the Constitutional Court, the non-neutrality of election organisers and the lack of independence by public officials from the ministerial level to village heads, which is an ironic sight in a democratic order.
In a speech, Cultural Science Faculty lecturer Hary Efendi Iskandar said that the speaking out by campuses, including Andalas University, was evidence that the academic community shares the same inner signal that the country was not doing well at all.
"This is a spontaneous response that we teachers, educators, students, are really felling anxious. This is what has made the campus take a position and declare its concerns. Stating a position of idealism, declaring a moral position that our nation is currently beset by an institutional crisis, in the process of democratic transition that has proceeded for almost 30 years", said Iskandar.
"We are warning the president to stop political cawe-cawe, to stop political intervention, go back President Jokowi, go back to implementing state regulations under the rule of law and the constitution", he said.
Iskandar said that with each passing day the government's is increasingly unashamed in expressing partiality and openly declaring political support.
"So that we hope that this moral call will hopefully reminding the President, that the government from the center to the regions must truly organise a fair election process. If the elections are not seen as credible from the start, it is of course dangerous in the context of legitimacy among contestants. This is of course dangerous, it's like the contest is not right, no longer fair", said Iskandar.
Aside from Unand, a number of other academic communities including the Gajah Mada University (UGM), the University of Indonesia (UI) and the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) have also criticised President Widodo who is seen as showing a preference for one of the presidential candidates in the midst of the electoral contestation.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Setelah UGM, UI, dan UII, Sivitas Akademika Unand Desak Jokowi Berhenti 'Cawe-cawe'". A longer version of this article was published by TribunPadang.com with the title Manifesto Civitas Akdemika Unand Desak Presiden Jokowi Hentikan Cawe-Cawe dan Intervensi Politik.]