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Warisan Utang

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27 August, 2009

Indonesia's Election: A Brief Comparison

As a journalist who write a lot about election in Indonesia, I'm not really interest in observing elections in other contries until my associate describe about election in Afghanistan, a country in the middle of nowhere which I don't have a clue to locate it on the map, maybe somewhere around Pakistan or Kazakhstan.

War and conflict are two things that cross in my mind when I heard about Afghanistan. Amazingly, according to my associate who observed the election directly in the area, this ex-Soviet country run a well-managed elections. My curiousity come to a start. I begin to dig informations about it, then I'm hunger for more.

I'm not satisfied with books I've read about Afghanistan election. So, I'm ended up in Wikipedia. This free-encyclopedia nakedly describe about Afghanistan election. Many things pounding in my head. Unconsciously, I made a comparison with the election in Indonesia, including basic principles, techniques, methodes, etc.

I'm new in reporting election. Started a first step in journalistic activities at Indonesia's General Elections Commission in January 2009. It was not easy at the first week, but many journalist friends are kind and settled things up. I move along, day by day. Then I learned so many things about Indonesian election, something that far with my educational background, animal science.

Long-story shorted. A comparison between Afghanistan dan Indonesian election showed which one more perfect than the other. I'm arrived in a conclusion that we need to learn harder as democratic country. A lot of countries held a better elections than ours, including Afghanistan. The description below will show you why we've to learn how to run election to Afghanistan.

Forty-four candidates registered for the Afghanistan's presidential election, with the Independent Election Commmission of Afghanistan (IEC) announcing its official preliminary list of registered candidates on May 17, 2009. Three candidates withdrew from the race before the election took place, having thrown their support behind one of the top two contenders.

Security concerns prevented Afghan's presidential candidates from campaigning in most of the provinces, and candidates running for provincial councils were under constant threat wherever they went. 12 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces remained classified as "high risk" by the Afghan Ministry of Interior casting into doubt the ability of over one-third of the country to participate in the elections.

It showed how rush the conflict-atmosphere during election. But, in my perspective, Afghan peoples somehow able to managed conflict in order to prevent harsh effects in the election. In the other words, conflict only happened in the surface of the local politic environment. No records about cheating or manipulating election result. If there was, maybe its not really significant.

While in Indonesia, a-so called-democratic election ruined by catasthropic vote-manipulating. There was no bloody conflict during legislative and presidential election around the islands. It means, the surface was clean, but in the inside there was a dirty agenda which Indonesian election observers couldn't reach. The main actors also remain untouchable.

Indonesia's Constitutional Court mentioned that General Elections Commissions seems unprofessional in doing their tasks. As a matter of fact, the Court ordered the Commission to held vote-recount in several districts as a result of miscounting and lack of documents that contain vote recapitulation summaries.

Constitutional Court ex-judge, Jimly Ashiddieqy, told me on a private conversation, 2009 election is the worst election in Indonesia's history. Even the first election in 1955 is more better than now. But, Jimly still optimist that 2009 election is the last election of the transition era. And the next elections will be far better.

Well, let me simplify, Indonesia need to learn how to be honest in run an election. Politicians must consider the election as a fair game. Election not only about the result, but also the process in it. Afghan peoples have tried the best even when they can't. So why haven't we?