Postponing general elections is the second popular strategy (to extend power) in addition to amending the Constitution.
Semarang (ANTARA) - No single country in the world postpones general elections on the pretext of maintaining economic growth stability, according to a general elections activist.

“Postponing general elections is the second popular strategy (to extend power) in addition to amending the Constitution,” a member of the Association for General Elections and Democracy (Perludem) Advisory Board Titi Anggraini stated in Semarang, Central Java, on Saturday.

Some political parties that make up the Jokowi administration's coalition have thrown their weight behind a discourse to postpone the 2024 general elections.

Anggraini opined that the discourse is part of a strategy to extend the duration of power as well as to avoid restrictions on the term of office through the postponement of general elections.

According to Perludem's Advisory Board member, during the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries had suspended general elections for a certain period of time to safeguard their citizens against the coronavirus.

“They did so with accurate, stringent legal considerations and a transparent process,” she pointed out.

If the reason behind the postponement of elections is to maintain economic growth, then it will be unacceptable and against the Constitution, Anggraini noted.

Article 7 of the 1945 Constitution stipulates that a president and vice president are elected for five-year term and can be re-elected for the second term of office, she stated.

Moreover, article 22E paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution explicitly states that general elections must be held every five years based on direct, general, free, secret, honest, and fair principles.

“The political elites and political party leaders must comply with the Constitution rather than recommend something that is not clearly ruled in the general elections law and the Constitution,” she stated.

Chairman of the People's Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan affirmed that his party supports a discourse to postpone the 2024 general elections.

"Considering various factors and inputs from the public and groups, PAN has decided to agree that the 2024 general elections be postponed," Hasan stated at the Parliament Complex here on Friday.

Hasan noted that the pandemic had resulted in unstable economic conditions, such as the slow economic growth at around three to 3.5 percent that had compelled people to struggle to recover from the impacts of the pandemic on the economy.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB) Muhaimin Iskandar voiced his suggestion that the 2024 general elections be postponed due to the sluggish economic conditions.

Related news: PAN supports discourse on postponing 2024 general elections

However, Secretary General of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Hasto Kristiyanto has brushed aside a proposal for suspending general elections, as he believes that it lacks a strong legal basis.

"It also ignores the most fundamental aspect in politics that requires discipline and compliance with the Constitution," Kristiyanto noted in a written statement released in Jakarta on Thursday.

For the umpteenth time, President Joko Widodo has expressed his objection to various proposals to extend his term of office or suspend the general elections, he noted.

"The periodization of the quinquennial general elections focus on forming the culture of democracy and culture of correlation with the quality of democracy. If the culture of periodization is disrupted, then this will have an impact on political instability. Instead of thinking of suspending the 2024 general elections, we’d better take consolidation steps to make preparations for the general elections,” he emphasized.

Related news: Parliament approves commissioner candidates for electoral organisers

Translator: D.Dj. Kliwantoro, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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