On Thursday (24-04), the Department of Politics and Government (DPP) UGM held a discussion as well as the launch of a book entitled “Notes of the Former: Free Thoughts on Election Organizing Institutions in Post-Reformation Indonesia”. The discussion, which was held through a zoom meeting and broadcast live from the DPP Fisipol Youtube channel, presented two main speakers, namely Dewita Hayu Shinta, Former Member of the East Java KPU 2014-2019 and Nur Hidayat Sardini, Chair of the Indonesian Election Supervisory Committee 2008-2011. This discussion highlighted the intricacies and challenges of holding general elections (elections) in Indonesia.
The discussion opened with a presentation from one of the book’s editors, Abdul Gaffar Karim. Through his presentation, Gaffar said that this book is a reflection on the implementation of elections in Indonesia. He continued that the authors of this book consisted of ‘former’ who had been involved in the administration of elections. This is what makes this book more flexible in presenting reflections on the implementation of elections without being shackled by political boundaries. “This book brings novelty in explaining the implementation of elections from the internal side of the election organizers,” he said.
Nur Hidayat Sardini explained about the success of the institutionalization of electoral democracy through elections in Indonesia in the last two decades and its achievements. According to him, the implementation of elections in Indonesia has experienced long dynamics and significant changes from year to year. These achievements would not have been achieved without the intervention of former election administrators who participated in the process of conducting the elections.
Sardini then relates that this is the spirit brought by this book which explores deeper from the side of the election organizers. Sardini stated that the existence of this book can be used as a spiritual foundation for the next election organizers. “This book shows the human side of election organizers who are also ‘ordinary people’,” he said.
Dewita Hayu Shinta shared her experience of being directly involved in the electoral process. Dewita highlighted the dynamics of the financial and logistical management process in the implementation of elections in East Java. According to him, corruption is a scourge for election organizers. Not least, election organizers are involved in corruption crimes, ranging from selling the remaining ballots to tax issues. Dewita also explained that the logistical needs of election organizers were often not met.
Financial matters are a sensitive matter, so according to Dewita, it is necessary to be very careful in managing finances in the implementation of elections. This incident provides a lesson and a turning point for Dewita. According to him, it is time to create reforms within the internal bodies of election organizers. “It is hoped that the improvement process will increase the integrity and responsibility of election organizers,” he said.
To participate in the book launching agenda “Notes of the Former: Free Reflections on Election Organizing Institutions in Post-Reformation Indonesia” in full through the DPP UGM Youtube channel.