I believe our Bawaslu colleagues can reprimand or warn them through a warning letter.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The General Elections Commission (KPU) has asked the General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) to reprimand political parties resorting to identity politics in their campaign for the 2024 General Elections.

"I believe our Bawaslu colleagues can reprimand or warn them through a warning letter," KPU chairperson Hasyim Asy'ari said after attending the induction ceremony of the Bawaslu secretary general here on Friday.

He affirmed that Article 280 of Law No. 7 of 2017 on Elections explicitly prohibits the use of sentiments involving ethnic group, religion, race, and inter-group relations (SARA) or identity politics in political campaigns.

"Our Election Law elucidates that the use of SARA sentiments, legally known as identity politics, as the medium of campaigning oneself (as a political candidate) is prohibited," Asy'ari stressed.

The KPU head made the remarks in response to a statement issued by chairperson of the Ummah Party, Ridho Rahmadi, who said that his party will defy negative opinions on identity politics.

"We will say it out loud that yes, we are the Ummah Party, and we are (part of) identity politics," Rahmadi said at the opening ceremony of the Ummah Party’s national working meeting on February 13, 2023.

Meanwhile, Bawaslu chairperson Rahmat Bagja said that he deplored the party chairperson's statement embracing identity politics.

"We deplore the statement. Identity politics was a major issue in the 2019 elections," he said.

Bawaslu will sanction political parties that employ identity politics in their political campaign, he added.

"Yes, we will sanction them. We will first reprimand them, and we expect they will not repeat the offense," Bagja said.

Last January, President Joko Widodo said that efforts must be optimized to ensure that people do not fall victim to identity politics in the run-up to the 2024 General Elections.

Last month, he asked all parties to show sensitivity in the upcoming election year by monitoring public conditions and allowing any friction or issue to be resolved sooner so that it does not lead to potential clashes.

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Translator: Tri Meilani A, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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